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Time travel through an English lady's wardrobe at Walker Art Gallery

October 22, 2019

Beautiful gowns, coats and accessories owned by one Liverpool woman are on show at the Walker Art Gallery in a sumptuous new exhibition.

An English Lady’s Wardrobe – opening this Friday – scratches the surface of the collection belonging to the late Emily Tinne.

More than 70 outfits, including day and evening wear, coats, hats, shoes, evening bags, swim wear, underwear and children’s clothes are on show in the gallery’s major exhibition space.

Curator Pauline Rushton says: “The last exhibition of Emily Tinne’s clothes was in 2006 but then we showed around 40 outfits and this time there are 73 on show, as well as a lot of accessories. It’s about trying to tell a story with our choices.

“Not only are there many more pieces but what we’ve tried to do is give a sense of her entire family and the family relationships. We have her correspondence which has been kindly loaned by the family.

“And the third gallery looks in depth at the shopping experience in Liverpool between the two world wars. A lot of older visitors will remember these shops.”

Emily Tinne was born Emily McCulloch in Calcutta and spent her early years in India where her father, a Presbyterian minister, was the principal of a theological college. She was sent to boarding school in England and then trained as a domestic science teacher in Edinburgh.

She met her future husband Dr Philip Frederic Tinne, a Liverpool GP, after moving to the city to live with her uncle who was a surgeon, and the couple married in 1910. The Tinnes were Dutch sugar mechants and ship owners who had emigrated to Liverpool in 1813.

Philip and Emily lived in Aigburth and raised six children.

She accumulated much of her huge collection of clothes and accessories between her marriage and the Second World War and bought so much some items were never worn – and retain their original price tags from a century ago.

Pre-First World War underwear with the Owen Owen price tag still attached

 

The collection was donated to National Museums Liverpool by Emily’s daughter Alexine after her mother died in 1966.

Grand-daughter Emily Fabricious, who recalls playing with the outfits when they were discovered, says she believes her grandmother’s regular purchase of items during the lean years of the Depression was partly because ‘she felt she was helping the girls of Liverpool who got commission on the sales’.

She shopped at stores including George Henry Lee, Owen Owen, Lewis’s, Bon Marché and Cripps in Bold Street.

Tickets for the exhibition are £9 for adults and £8 concessions. More HERE

 

An English Lady’s Wardrobe is at the Walker Art Gallery from October 25 to March 1 2020.

 

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