Pitt Rivers Museum receives major funding award for textile collection project

The Pitt Rivers Museum has been successful in receiving funding from the Arts Council Designation Development Fund, drawn from the National Lottery.

The museum has been awarded £90,000 to undertake conservation, research, photography and digitization of its internationally significant textile and clothing collections. These unique collections - which contain a wide variety of textiles, shoes, hats and accessories from around the world - have importance for makers, elders and researchers from the communities they originated from as well as the wider public. As part of the project, the museum will work with communities in the UK and overseas to ensure users are at the heart of the research.

Dr Laura Van Broekhoven, Director of the Pitt Rivers Museum, said: “I am thrilled we have been awarded this funding from Arts Council England, which is a significant contribution to opening up access to our exciting and understudied textile collections, which are rich in diversity, aesthetic value and historical significance. We are very excited to have an opportunity to unlock broader meanings of these pieces and start to better understand their role as expressions of social, marital and financial status, cultural, religious, political or geographical affiliation, beauty, fashion, gender, history and identity.”

The Arts Council Designation Scheme identifies and celebrates outstanding collections, which deepen our understanding of the world and what it means to be human. Since 1997 the scheme has identified the best collections held in museums, libraries and archives across England, with the aims of raising the profile of these vital collections and encouraging everyone to safeguard them. In the third round of funding covering the period 2019-2022, there were 28 successful museums and libraries, receiving £2.1 million in total.