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One of a nationally important collection of agricultural smocks in our costume store

Great news – we have been successful in our application for a Costume Society Museum Placement Award which means that university student placement Sue Martin will be working on the Look Again project part time over the summer, working closely with the Arts Society volunteers.

The Salisbury Museum holds a nationally significant collection of costume and textiles which contains around 5,000 items. For the last two years, a group of 14 Arts Society volunteers (in four groups) have been working through the items in storage to re-catalogue the collection.

In December 2017, the museum was awarded a grant from the Museums Association Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund for a project, headed up by our own Katy England: Look Again: Discovering Centuries of Fashion, which aims to work with the local community, particularly young people (11-18) to reinterpret and redisplay the costume collection so it appeals to a wider audience.

The Arts Society volunteers are rediscovering many forgotten gems in the collection and will be sharing these with the young people as part of the Look Again project.

Sue will work with each group of Arts Society Volunteers to select and research items to be proposed to the young people working on Look Again.

This project will allow a greater selection of items from the collection to be offered for display in the new galleries. The current Art Society volunteers will be supported to research the items which will result in the artefacts themselves being presented to the young people in a more coordinated and understandable way. The items selected will be shown to the local community through the Look Again project, for example through social media channels.

Sue’s lifelong interest in textiles means she has been involved in the creation of woven, knitted and printed fabrics, but  never worked with historical garments. She is particularly interested in the use of traditional fabrics and construction in historical dresses and accessories, but also interested in how costume collections can reach a wider audience.