(Clockwise from left:) Cotton wedding dress c.1835-40; Late 19th century Gujarat - Kasmir; and Arts and Crafts printed liene from Russia circa Early 20th century
Haslemere Educational Museum
78 High Street, Haslemere, Surrey, GU27 2LA
Tel: +44 (0)1428 642112
Contact: Julia Tanner
Haslemere visitor information centre enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
In 1888 Hutchinson formed a private museum in his garden barn based around botany, geology and social history. He established a revolutionary new role for museums by emphasising the importance of education for everyone. Today the museums houses a diverse collection - over 2,400 items including fine examples of costume, accessories, household textiles, fragments and samplers from both Britain and around the world dating from the 18th Century onwards.
The majority of our non-Western ethnographic items originate from Africa and South East Asia, particularly China. Most items are 20th Century, including a striking assortment of Zulu beadwork. From China we have embroidered shoes, jackets and cloaks. From India, 19th Century Gujarat headdresses, Banjara embroidered blouses and Kashmir leather and velvet slippers. We have plant fibre from Pacific areas, such as Samoan tapa cloth and a 19th Century vegetable fibre netted bodice, probably from Papua New Guinea.
Inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement a number of local luminaries such as Godfrey Blount and Joseph King established a local arts crafts group, the Haslemere Peasant Art Society, in 1897. This was a group of craft workshops and weaving houses which became known as Halsemere Peasant Industries. Surviving examples include an appliqué bed hanging with birds, grapes and scrolls, probably designed by Godfrey Blount, and early 20th Century textiles from Inval Weavers, Haslemere, including woven linen napkins, tablecloths and scarves.
The Peasant Arts Collection was put together by, amongst others, Joseph King and the Reverend Gerald S Davies, who gathered 700 examples of woodwork, metalwork and textiles which finally formed the basis of the Haslemere Peasant Handicraft Museum in 1905.
Of around 800 regional, rural costumes held by the museum, the majority are from Eastern and Northern European countries such as Hungary, Sweden, Romania, Russia and Norway. Highlights include Hungarian chemises and headscarves, Romanian blouses and skirts and Norwegian bodices, waistcoats and belts. Most are late 19th Century. This collection includes a few printed textiles and lace from arts and crafts workshops in Russia, dating from the early 20th Century.
The Museum also contains a small collection of local dress, textiles and accessories including a fine sampler collection and an 18th Century child’s dress from Fernhurst, West Sussex.