New Exhibition: The Stories Behind the Stitches

The Museum of Cambridge opens a new exhibition, “The Stories Behind the Stitches”, exploring wellness, disability and self-expression through Cambridge textiles.   

“The Stories Behind the Stitches” is a temporary exhibition of needlework, quilts, and other textile objects which explore how the needle and thread has been paramount in Cambridge and Cambridgeshire community’s self-expression during times of War, throughout education, and times of celebration. The exhibit is now open and will be on display until Autumn 2024. 

The exhibition highlights how textiles have been instrumental in self-expression throughout milestones in a person or communities’ life. Visitors will be taken on a journey which allows them to consider themes of education, family-life, disability, and celebration, and how these are expressed through textiles. 

The exhibition features the Master’s Wives’ Quilt, a quilt lovingly sewn square-by-square by over 200 women and girls including 13 wives of Cambridge College Masters in 1892 as a wedding gift for a royal prince, a grandson of Queen Victoria. The needlework samplers on display are stitched by local Cambridge schools by girls as young as 11 years old, and there are several embroideries created by recovering out-of-action soldiers at the First Eastern General Hospital in World War I. This exhibit will allow the opportunity to see a beautiful selection of textiles amongst those mentioned which tell a plethora of local tales exploring education, disability, and celebrations. 

Due to the nature of our 16th-century old building, the Museum of Cambridge is not wheelchair accessible. However, there will be a curator talk on this exhibit, “Textiles Therapy: Aiding mental health, mourning, disability, and injury” that will be held in our hireable space, which has level access, and there is an accessible bathroom on site. We are working on enhancing our accessibility, and we recognise that this is a core development priority. This talk allows the Museum to discuss disability within the collection and share these objects and research in an accessible space.  

“The Stories Behind the Stitches” is open and will be on display until Autumn 2024. The Museum is open Monday, Wednesday-Saturday 10AM-5PM and Sunday 11AM-4PM. Adult admission is £6, and Student/Jobseeker admission is £4.5 to support us, an independent Museum and charity. Entry to the exhibit is included in your entry ticket. Children 16 and under visit for free.

New Exhibition: The Stories Behind the Stitches