1 April – 4 September 2022
Blackwork portrait of David Bowie by RSN Future Tutor Sarah de Rousset-Hall. Copyright Royal School of Needlework.
In 1872, the Royal School of Needlework was founded on two key principles – the first, the preservation of hand embroidery as an art form and the second, the support of women’s independence through work. In the intervening 150 years, the RSN’s journey towards these goals has taken many unexpected forms and featured countless high-profile projects.
150 Years of the Royal School of Needlework will explore this historic organisation’s contribution to the world of embroidery. The exhibition will present collaborations with the great names of the Arts and Crafts movement, commissions produced for the British royal family, contemporary works created for top, international designers and pieces by the RSN’s talented students.
Presenting textiles from the Royal School of Needlework’s own 5,000-piece archive, alongside examples from museums and collections across the UK, this in-depth retrospective will display the often-surprising history of one of the UK’s oldest and most revered applied arts organisations.
About the Royal School of Needlework
Founded in 1872, the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) is the international centre of excellence for the art of hand embroidery and will be celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2022. Steeped in history with unrivalled expertise in the techniques of hand embroidery, the RSN offers a wide range of courses for all levels, from beginners through to advanced.
Students can choose to study courses online and onsite, including Day & Evening Classes and the Certificate & Diploma in Technical Hand Embroidery. The RSN also teaches BA (Hons) Hand Embroidery and the Future Tutors Programme, which trains Tutors for the next generation. The Royal School of Needlework is based at Hampton Court Palace and teaches across the UK and internationally. For more information visit royal-needlework.org.uk.
Goldwork Sampler for the Coronation Robe of State, 1953. Copyright Royal School of Needlework.
Final Major Project ‘The Lost Garden’ by RSN Degree Student Livia Papiernik. Copyright Royal School of Needlework.
Panel design by Walter Crane worked by the RSN, 1875. Copyright Royal School of Needlework.
Coat of Arms hand embroidered by RSN Apprentices, 1987. Copyright Royal School of Needlework.
Silk Shading and Laidwork featuring a Lapwing by RSN Diploma Student, 1950s. Copyright Royal School of Needlework.
Millennium Sampler A to Z by RSN Apprentices. Copyright Royal School of Needlework.