Loaned Fashion Museum items seen by over one million visitors in 2019

Article: David Styles | Image: The V&A's 2019 Mary Quant exhibition © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Garments loaned to institutions including the V&A, Kew Palace and the Fashion Institute of Technology by Bath’s Fashion Museum were seen by more than one million visitors in 2019.

The Fashion Museum loaned items to several high-profile exhibitions in the UK and overseas in 2019, with a total of 1,018,877 visitors from around the world setting their eyes on items from the institution’s collection.

A large amount of this attention was due to the runaway success of Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams at the V&A. The show, which was forced to extend its run by seven weeks due to staggering ticket demand, attracted around 595,000 visitors between February and September. The V&A also took Fashion Museum garments for its Mary Quant and Fashioned from Nature exhibitions.

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams © Victoria and Albert Museum

Other 2019 Fashion Museum loans included royal gloves belonging to several monarchs travelling to the Bendigo Art Gallery in Australia for its Tudors to Windsor: British Royal Portraits exhibition. Continuing this regal theme, a rare and fragile dress that once belonged to Queen Charlotte was loaned to Kew Palace for an exhibition to mark the 200th anniversary of her death at the Palace in November 1818.

Speaking to Advisor about the institution’s achievements in 2019, Fashion Museum manager Rosemary Harden explained that both she and the Museum were “honoured to be part of a number of great dress exhibitions in museums around the world in 2019, from Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams at the V&A South Kensington to Tudors to Windsors at Bendigo Art Gallery, Australia, and Paris Fashion at the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.”

Working with colleagues around the world in this way, Harden continued, “facilitates new narratives, new contexts and new audiences for the Fashion Museum collection, increasing the interaction with and reach of Bath’s fabulous world-class collection of historical dress.”