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2018 Centenary of Women’s Suffrage

Kingston Lacy explores the lives of its most influential women as part of the 2018 centenary of women’s suffrage.

Beyond the Portrait, a new installation at Kingston Lacy in Dorset, is one of a wide range of exhibitions and events as part of the National Trust’s Women and Power programme.

The exhibition examines Mary, Frances, Anne and Henrietta, four Bankes women who influenced Kingston Lacy over 400 years of the estate’s history. Using their portraits as a starting point for understanding who they were and the role they played in shaping the estate, the exhibition brings together fine art, decorative objects and voices from the Bankes Archive.

Beyond the Portrait is delivered in partnership with Dorset History Centre as part of the Unlocking the Bankes Archive Project and is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. This project aims to conserve the archive, reveal its potential for future research and stimulate audience interest in its stories.

Kate Bethune, Curator for the National Trust comments ‘Beyond the Portrait places the women of Kingston Lacy at the centre of our storytelling, and highlights their stories, voices and influence. We hope that part of the legacy of the project will be the foundation of our long-term plan to embed the female perspective into Kingston Lacy and Purbeck’s core story, rebalancing the way we share this history.’

Emma Munn, Project and Engagement Officer for Unlocking the Bankes Archive comments ‘The information contained within the Bankes Archive is enabling Kingston Lacy to create new interpretation based on research carried out by volunteers at Dorset History Centre. The project team have uncovered fascinating glimpses into the lives of these 4 women in the Bankes family and, by working in partnership with Kingston Lacy, will be able to tell their stories for years to come’.

Kingston Lacy will also be hosting elements of the Threads of Narrative exhibition, previously on display at Walford Mill Crafts in Wimborne and a further output of the Unlocking the Bankes Archive project. Threads of Narrative is a textile art response to material contained in the Bankes Archive. It will be on display in the Laundry at Kingston Lacy until 28 October 2018.

Entry to the house is by timed ticket. For opening times, booking information and further details or phone on 0344 249 1895.