Somerset Sisters in Song: Cecil Sharp’s Women Folk Singers

14 January – 19 August

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Gypsy singer Betsy Holland (1890 – 1960). Image courtesy of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, English Folk Dance and Song Society

Cecil Sharp, a London-based music teacher, began collecting Somerset folk songs in August 1903. Sharp collected from 358 named individuals and then published five volumes of Folk Songs from Somerset between 1904 and 1909.

Uniquely among collectors of the period, Sharp photographed his singers. His portraits of women are evocative and memorable, offering glimpses into a lost world of handmade clothing, shawls, pinafores, hats and homes.

The exhibition tells the story of the Somerset women who provided Sharp with hundreds of folk songs. It includes a selection of photographs provided by the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, English Folk Dance and Song Society.

Somerset Sisters in Sing was produced in partnership with Yvette Staelens, folk singer and Senior Teaching Fellow, Bournemouth University.

The exhibition is in the Hammet Room.

ENTRY IS FREE

Open 14 January – 19 August