The Bowes Museum > Exhibitions > 2007 > Fine and Fashionable: Lace from the Blackborne Collection

Fine and Fashionable: Lace from the Blackborne Collection


Fine & Fashionable featured one of the world's largest collections of lace that was put together in the 19th century by the father and son, Anthony and Arthur Blackborne, master lace dealers. Trading from premises in South Audley Street, London, they sold to the fine and fashionable around the world.

This celebration of lace showed more than 200 pieces from The Blackborne Collection, many never before on public view. The Collection has been generously given to the Museum by descendants of the Blackborne Family.

Presented with work by Vivienne Westwood and by British artist Catherine Bertola, the lace was shown with Fine & Decorative Arts from The Bowes Museum and from the V&A. A new generation of design was represented by Northumbria University Fashion Marketing Students, University of Sunderland Glass Department and Cleveland College of Art and Design.

Fine & Fashionable was accompanied by a full-colour, 88-page guide to The Blackborne Collection - available for purchase at The Bowes Museum and at the online shop here>. This publication has been made possible from support from the Friends of The Bowes Museum and the Pasold Research Fund.

Part of Newcastle Gateshead's world-class programme of festivals and events.

The Bowes Museum grounds are open!


Due to the government announcement on Thursday 17 December, that County Durham is to remain in COVID tier 3 restrictions, The Bowes Museum unfortunately will remain closed to all visitors. However, the grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 - 4.00 daily, and we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, two spring trails and outdoor guided tours are available from 29 March 2021.

As we have already been shut for a number of weeks and there is much uncertainty around possible further restrictions, we have decided to use this period to undertake some work in Café Bowes, alongside performing some much-needed structural repairs to the building, notably to the windows. January and February are usually quieter times for the Museum, often due to severe weather, so we believe that this is the best time to carry out such works with the least amount of disruption to our visitors.

We have therefore decided to remain closed for a period of four weeks following any near-future tier 2 announcement from the government, as this will allow us time to deep clean the Museum prior to reopening our doors once again. We will, of course, keep you updated as the guidelines change.

Your ongoing support during these unprecedented times is hugely appreciated and we very much look forward to welcoming you back into the building as early as possible in 2021.

We hope to be able to offer a few COVID-safe outdoor events over the coming months, about which we shall make further announcements as soon as possible.