An English lady's wardrobe

25 October 2019–1 March 2020

Exhibition Overview

The Walker Art Gallery will display more than 70 outfits in this new exhibition, which explores shopping and style in Liverpool during the interwar years. An English lady’s wardrobe will offer new insight into Liverpool’s wealthy Tinne family, showcasing clothing and accessories purchased by Mrs Emily Margaret Tinne (1886-1966).

The Tinne Collection is the largest collection of a single person’s clothing in any UK gallery. The Walker has displayed numerous items from the collection over recent years, but An English lady’s wardrobe will be the largest exhibition yet. In addition to Emily Tinne’s clothing, it will feature costumes belonging to her children as well as outfits worn by the family’s servants.

The Walker has been given access to a large number of letters written by members of the Tinne family, revealing new information about their lives.

"The Tinne Collection provides a wonderful snapshot of life in a middle-class Liverpool family between the First and Second World Wars. The inclusion of photographs of the family home, along with personal letters, means that visitors will really get to know the Tinnes through the exhibition." Pauline Rushton, Senior Curator

The exhibition will feature daywear, evening dresses, outdoor wear, underwear and accessories, including jewellery, shoes, handbags and an impressive selection of hats. Much of the clothing that will be shown dates from 1910 to 1939, reflecting the changing styles of the period.

"Emily Tinne’s love of shopping was extraordinary, and her vast wardrobe transports us back to a very different Liverpool. From the prestigious, Parisian-inspired department stores providing made-to-measure services, to the highly skilled tailors, milliners and shoemakers, Liverpool was well equipped to cater to the needs of the wealthy elite living in Britain’s greatest port city." Pauline Rushton, Senior Curator

Central to the exhibition will be a focus on the Liverpool ladies’ outfitters and department stores where many of the outfits were purchased, including Cripps on Bold Street, the Bon Marché and George Henry Lee’s on Church Street and Basnett Street, Owen Owen Ltd in Clayton Square and Lewis’s on Ranelagh Street.

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