Book your tickets now for Out Shopping: The dresses of Marion and Maud Sambourne curator talk

Friday, 6 September

Join us on this exclusive visit for Costume Society members. Set in a beautiful historic house this exhibition is sure to be a feast for the eyes and has the added bonus of a talk by the curator of the exhibition, Hannah Lund and afternoon tea.

After an introductory talk about Out Shopping: The dresses of Marion and Maud with Hannah Lund, there will be time to see the exhibition followed by tea and cake at Leighton House. The exhibition showcases nationally significant outfits, some never seen before, which were worn by this middle-class mother (Marion Sambourne was the wife of Victorian Illustrator and Punch cartoonist, Linley Sambourne) and her affluent daughter, Maud.

Our visit will start with an introductory talk to the exhibition by Hannah Lund, Curator of Exhibitions and Displays. Hannah joined the museums in 2018. During 2019 - 2022 she led on the museums’ capital project Hidden Gem to National Treasure to develop the displays and interpretation. She studied History of Art at Edinburgh University, completing a Research Masters in British material culture in 2017.

Out Shopping: The dresses of Marion and Maud (1880-1910), not only showcases the dresses of these two women, mother and daughter, but also the remarkable skill of fashion designers of this era.

Highlights include an exquisite blue skirt and jacket with lace cuffs made by the eminent court and society dressmaker, Sarah Fullerton Monteith Young. This was worn by Marion to her daughter’s wedding to Leonard Messel in 1898. There is a crepe silk lilac tea gown, which Maud wore during her pregnancy and a beautiful brown velvet embellished chiffon day dress by Mascotte (1906).

The dresses have come out of store, some for the first time, for this exhibition and have all gone through meticulous conservation by leading textile conservator Janie Lightfoot. Funding from various sources enabled this part of the project, including an Elizabeth Hammond grant from The Costume Society for one of the dresses.

In addition to enjoying the dresses, the exhibition is enriched by photographs, letters, drawings and receipts from the Sambourne Archive. These relate to purchases made by Marion and Maude, including fabrics, accessories and corsets. This material provides a window into the shopping habits and distinct taste of these two women as well giving a broader picture of how women bought their clothes during this period.

The exhibition comprises 40 dresses, 39 are on show at Leighton House, which is where this visit takes place, and there is one at Sambourne House. This dress is accompanied by a documentary film about the conservation process.  Normally there is an additional charge to visit Sambourne House, however the museums have kindly offered free entry to Sambourne House on this occasion. If you would like to go to Sambourne House you can do this under your own steam before or after our visit. Both museums are open 10.00 - 5.30pm (last entry 4.30pm) and are within 8 minutes waking distance of each other.

If you love dress of this period (1880 - 1910) then join us for what promises to be an inspiring afternoon at Leighton House on Friday 6 September, 2-4.30pm. 

The event is for Costume Society members only. An EventBrite ticket link will be emailed to members soon. Ticket price: Places are limited. £40.

If you have any questions about this trip, please contact Sophia Wilson,

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