The orginal collection was formed in the 1980's and reflected the pedagogic principals of Constance Howard and Audrey Walker, two former Heads of Textiles at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Whilst Constance Howard established embroidery as a singular art form, Audrey Walker introduced an interdisciplinary approach to the subject by changing the name of the department from embroidery to textiles. This integrated approach is reflected in the diverse textile collection. Consequently many pieces from the material archive became an essential resource for research teaching and teaching in studio practice.
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