Secrets behind the ‘ideal’ woman unveiled at the Royal Pump Room

The story of female beauty and how women through history have achieved it will be unveiled at a special presentation at the Royal Pump Room Museum this Sunday (6 November).

Costume historian and History Wardrobe member Meridith Towne will be revealing the story of female beauty and how women of history have attained it – with a little bit of help from their wardrobes and make-up cases.



Meridith’s presentation, called ‘A Body Beautiful: The history of the ‘ideal’ woman’,  will reveal how women have achieved ‘perfection’ through the ages using such helpful items as corsets, spiral bras and bum pads along with crinoline cages, wigs and rouge.  The presentation will feature some of her personal collection.

Harrogate Borough Council’s Museums Audience Development Officer, Diane Saxon, said:

The costume presentation event is one of my personal favourites in our adult programme each year.

Meridith’s costume making and history knowledge along with her fine drama skills makes for a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.  She will make you laugh and think and learn – and there’s a cup of tea and mince pie to enjoy too.

‘A Body Beautiful’ is a special presentation as part of the ‘Wonderful Women’ exhibition at the Royal Pump Room Museum, showcasing stunning costumes from films and television. The exhibition includes an empire-line embroidered dress worn by Anne Hathaway in ‘Becoming Jane’, a satin dress with woollen overcoat worn by Nicole Kidman in ‘The Hours’ and a blue dress with fur trim worn by Helena Bonham-Carter dresses in ‘The King’s Speech’.

Tickets for Meridith Towne’s presentation on ‘A Body Beautiful: The history of the ‘ideal’ woman’ on Sunday 6 December at 1pm are £10, including refreshments.

To book, contact Harrogate Museums and Arts on 01423 556188, e-mail musuesms@harrogate.gov.uk or visit the Mercer Art Gallery on Swan Road.  Tickets will also be available on the day.

The Royal Pump Room Museum will be opening later than usual (2.30pm – 4pm) due to this special event on Sunday 6 December 2015.


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