Textile designer creates sofas inspired by Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's archives

16th-century embroidered bodice, SBT 1993-35, photograph by Lee Lapthorne.

16th-century embroidered bodice, SBT 1993-35, photograph by Lee Lapthorne.

This Saturday, textile designer Lee Lapthorne will be at Hall’s Croft to unveil two specially commissioned bespoke pieces of furniture that he’s created in response to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s archives. He’s currently artist-in residence at the Trust, where he’s responded with great enthusiasm to the wealth of over one million Shakespeare-related items in their collections. In his own words:

The Trust’s archived items are aesthetically rich. They have both excited me as beautiful pieces in their own right and as totems of all that our creative forebears can teach us about the past, and the present. During my residency I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to visit and view the archives with experts explaining the fascinating collection to me personally. I’ve had access to amazing items, some more than 500 years old, that have inspired me to create new textile pieces.

We’ll be taking a collection of historic costume into the Archives over the next few months. Perhaps it’ll help inspire your own creative work. We’ll let you know when you’ll be able to access it, but already have a wealth of visual material that could help you to find primary sources for researching your projects. In the meantime, why not visit Hall’s Croft and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage to see the two pieces of furniture Lee’s created? They’ll be on display from 11 March - 15 September 2019.