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The Partridge Family of Barnstaple: Ethel Mairet, Fred Partridge and the Arts and Craft Movement

May 14, 2022   -   Oct 29, 2022

This May will see a new exhibition telling the little-known story of Barnstaple’s Partridge family who became influential members of the Arts and Crafts movement.

The project explores the lives and work of Ethel, Fred and Maud Partridge, who were born and educated locally in the late nineteenth century and went on to become part of the artistic community of Ditchling, where their circle included Bernard Leach, Shoji Hamada, Eric Gill and many more.

The exhibition brings together items from the Museum’s own Partridge Geology Collection with loans from national and regional museums including: examples of Ethel’s celebrated handmade textiles from the Crafts Study Centre  and Ditchling Museum of Arts and Craft; jewellery created by Fred from the V&A,  Fitzwilliam and Birmingham Museums; and a first edition copy of a book on Mediaeval Sinhalese art from the British Library.

The exhibition is accompanied by a spring and summer events programme which includes an exclusive three-day workshop working with renowned weavers Jenny Wilkinson and Angie Parker,  adults talks and children’s workshops.

To find out more about the museum’s events programme visit our What’s on page.

The loans are supported by the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund. Created by the Garfield Weston Foundation and Art Fund, the Weston Loan Programme is the first ever UK-wide funding scheme to enable smaller and local authority museums to borrow works of art and artefacts from national collections.

Poster for exhibition 'The Partridge Family of Barnstaple, Ethel Mairet, Fred Partridge and the Arts and Crafts Movement
Photograph of Ethel Mairet using loom at Chipping Camden

Credit : From the Papers of Ethel Mairet, Crafts Study Centre, University for the Creative

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