Lotherton Hall set to become home of new Fashion Galleries

Picture 1-Selection of 1950’s dresses from the Dress & Textiles collection to be displayed from March 2015 in the new Fashion Galleries.

Picture 2-Alexander McQueen coat 2012, part of the current exhibition Dressed for Battle, displayed until Sept 2014.

One of the city’s most popular museums has been awarded £150,000 of funding to refurbish its exhibition spaces and become the home of the new Fashion Galleries.

Awarded from the Department for Culture Media and Sport and Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund, this investment will support Lotherton Hall in one of its key ambitions to become a major museum of fashion and textiles. As part of the planned work, several rooms will be refurbished and a new lift installed so visitors can have full access to the much loved country house as well as the exciting modern exhibition spaces.

The redevelopment will create an up to date 21st century gallery space; with modern cases, improved lighting and the chance to utilise technology, which will allow opportunities to include new elements like film and sound in the galleries.

When completed, Lotherton Hall will become one of the largest spaces in the north of England to provide a regular programme of fashion and textile exhibitions by having a changing show each year. The flexibility of the new galleries will allow for more of the collection to be displayed, with the new modern cases creating greater hanging space for larger textiles. In addition, the improved lighting and security mean Lotherton Hall can now look to borrow other fantastic pieces from other museum’s collections.

Work will begin behind the scenes this summer and the current exhibition, Dressed for Battle will close in September with the view to launching the Fashion Galleries in March 2015 with a debut exhibition showcasing fabulous fifties fashions from the collection.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure & skills said:

"It is really fantastic news that one of our city’s most popular visitor attractions Lotherton Hall has been awarded this funding, which will aid our ambition to make the museum a major venue for fashion and textiles.

"A range of refurbishment work will be undertaken as part of the project, and we can’t wait to see the final results when the Fashion Galleries are re-launched at Lotherton Hall in March 2015.”

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said:

"We are pleased to be working with government to fund outstanding projects at museums and galleries across England. The DCMS/Wolfson Fund is an excellent example of how a funding charity and government department can work productively together. The projects supported this round are impressive, and will help inspire visitors to the country’s wonderful museums and galleries."

Notes to editors:

Lotherton Hall:

Lotherton Hall Estate is a charming Edwardian house and country estate. A single entrance price allows access to the house, with its wonderful collections of fine and decorative arts and a dedicated fashion gallery, and extensive grounds with an abundance of activities to keep everyone busy. The estate grounds include wildlife walks, formal gardens, the Bird Garden, historic stables, a deer park, playgrounds as well as gift shop and café. Lotherton Hall has undergone numerous changes over the last few years since becoming one whole visitor attraction. With this new and larger audience the house has adapted by improving access and introducing a new range of family-friendly facilities. These include the popular dressing-up room, curiosity cabinets and new this year is the Gascoignes Abroad interactive with stories of six family travels to different lands and sound and smell activities in the historic rooms. Other recent improvements have seen the re-opening of the Servants’ Rooms on the ground floor following a major restoration last year.

The dress and textiles collection at Leeds Museums and Galleries is recognised by the Arts Council’s Designation Scheme as a collection of national and international importance because of the quality and range of the items. From Elizabethan textiles and eighteenth century ladies dresses, to the latest Alexander McQueen coat, the collection gives us insight into 500 years of fashion and furnishings. As the main gallery for displaying Leeds Museums and Galleries’ dress and textiles collection and as one of the few places left in the region with a dedicated space for such displays, these galleries will be a unique feature for both Lotherton Hall and the people of Leeds.

Lotherton Hall has been displaying fashion since its early days of being a museum in 1968, showing fine examples of both historic and more contemporary fashions. In the late 1960s it was decided to build on the collection by acquiring more contemporary British designs and fashions. It is at this time that Lotherton Hall gained a reputation for curating innovative displays looking at contemporary fashion and showcasing British designers such as Jean Muir, Bill Gibb and Vivienne Westwood. There is now everything from high end fashion items collected for their excellence in cut, construction and aesthetic beauty - to items that have been collected because they have a unique and local significance to the area of Leeds and the surrounding Yorkshire region.

Address: Lotherton Lane, Aberford, Leeds, LS25 3EB

Tel: 0113 281 3259

Email: lotherton.hall@leeds.gov.uk

Web address: www.leeds.gov.uk/lothertonhall

See our member’s page for year round entry: www.leeds.gov.uk/lothertonmembers

Summer opening times (March to October) House, café, shop and bird garden: 10:00 to 17:00 with last entry at 16:15. Estate gates: 07:30 to 20:00.

Winter opening times (November - February) House, café, shop and bird garden: 10:00 to 16:00 with last entry at 15:15. Estate gates: 07:30 to 17:00. (limited entry to house during January and February)

Arts Council Designation Scheme:

The Arts Council Collection England Designation Scheme identifies the pre-eminent collections of national and international importance held in England's non-national museums, libraries and archives, based on their quality and significance. These inspiring collections represent a vital part of national cultural and artistic heritage. The scheme was launched in 1997 and now recognises 140 collections held in museums, libraries and archives, it recognises that organisations with Designated collections care for a significant part of England’s cultural heritage and sets out to raise standards across the sector. See www.artscouncil.org.uk for more information.

Department for Culture Media and Sport and Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund:

The Fund aims to provide capital funding for museums and galleries across England to deliver projects in one or a number of the following key areas:

a. Renovation and improvement of the display of exhibits in permanent galleries and exhibition spaces;

b. Improvements to public spaces and access to the collection;

c. Physical improvements to access for disabled visitors;

d. Physical improvements to collection interpretation;

e. Improvements to environmental controls in public access spaces and galleries, in the context of improvements to visitor experience.

There are four categories of institution which are eligible to apply for grants from the DCMS/Wolfson Fund. These are: museums and galleries directly sponsored by DCMS; designated university-based collections; museums/museums services with designated collections; and museums/museums services with non-designated collections which have either been part of a Renaissance Regional Hub or which became a Renaissance Major Partner in 2012.

The Wolfson Foundation is a charity that was established in 1955. The Foundation supports and promotes excellence in the fields of science and medicine, health, education and the arts & humanities. All funding is based on expert peer review. Over £750 million (£1.25 billion in real terms) has been awarded in grants to some 10,000 projects over the last 58 years.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk