Worthing Museum unfolds the changing history of fans in an upcoming exhibition this autumn

Worthing Museum unfolds the changing history of fans in an upcoming exhibition this autumn

This autumn, Worthing Museum and Art Gallery open their Fans Unfolded exhibition in the Norwood Gallery from 21st October 2017 to 31st March 2018.

Showcasing fans from the museum’s collection, this exhibition places a fashion accessory which is sometimes forgotten firmly in the spotlight. In modern times fans are not considered a necessity, especially in the British climate; however, they were once as much part of ladies’ fashion attire as a handbag. Not only a means to keep cool, a fan complimented the dress and the wearer. The designs of the fans were also used as a means of sharing news, social gossip or political propaganda and as such, is a comment on the social scene of the day. This exhibition explores the art, language, and craftsmanship of the fan, interposed with items from the museum’s art collection which reflect the period in which each fan was used. 

Gerry Connolly, Senior Curator for Worthing Museum & Art Gallery says:

As part of our aim to engage and inspire our audiences, we are displaying items from our extensive fan collection; the exhibition will showcase these long forgotten accessories and explore their history and connection to the fine arts. We’ll be exploring the imagery of the fans, how they mirrored fine art of the time, as well as looking into the language of fans and how they were used as a means of communication between people, the political propaganda they represented and fans that were used for advertising, dating back to the early 1700s.”