The Lethbridge Sisters

The Embroidered Furnishings of the Lethbridge Sisters, c. 1899-1922

Lynn Hulse

(OE Publications, 2018, ISBN 978-0-9934377-0-0, price tbc)

‘To see them bending over their remarkable tapestry work was clearly pre-Raphaelite at best; the astonishing industries of these two ladies… has to be seen to be believed’ (Edward Richards-Orpen)

The Lethbridge sisters, Lady Julia Carew (1863-1922) and Lady Jane Cory (1865-1947), were famed throughout society for their needlework skills and for the scale of the furnishings they produced for their London and Irish homes. Displayed in various exhibitions, including the First Australian Exhibition of Women's Work (Melbourne, 1907) and the Franco-British Exhibition (London, 1908), reports of the sisters' needlework frequently appeared in women's journals and in the society pages of the national press on both sides of the Atlantic. Julia’s passion was for antique work, Italian Renaissance designs, Chinese willow pattern and crewel embroidery in the Jacobean style based on the universal symbol of the ‘tree of life’. Jane preferred the work of contemporary artists and designers, including the figurative compositions of Edward Burne-Jones and Henry Holiday. The Embroidered Furnishings of the Lethbridge Sisters c. 1899-1922 is the first in-depth study of the life and work of these remarkable siblings to appear in print.

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