25th February 2018

Three Centuries of the Fan

A display curated by The Fan Circle International

3rd – 25th February

The fan, as a fashion accessory, has been around for hundreds of years, first devised by those living in hotter climes as a simple tool for keeping cool. As craftsmen discovered new materials and skills, the fan subsequently developed into an object of beauty.

The display will present fans from the 18th century to the present day, from the Eastern and the Western traditions. Demonstrating the wide array of skills a fan maker must master – such as carving, gilding, lacemaking, painting and printing – the display will highlight the extraordinary variety of these beautiful accessories. Visitors will also discover the varied subject matter used to decorate fans, from scenes of battlefield surrender to animal caricatures and serene Japanese cranes.

Contemporary fans will feature too, with one of the highlights being the Ruby Fan, commissioned by the Fan Circle International (FCI) to celebrate the organisation’s 40th anniversary in 2015. On display for the first time in the UK, will be the winning fans from a competition the FCI held in conjunction with the École Duperée in Paris in 2017.

The display will located in a cabinet in the Lower Gallery, on view from 3rd – 25th February. The Garden Rooms galleries are free to enter, and opening times can be viewed here.

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