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Constance Howard Resource and Research Centre in Textiles

View all images from the Goldsmith Textile Collection & Constance Howard Gallery: Object Collection

A pair of fine machine-knitted silk and cotton stockings, USA, 1920s and early 1930s

History and Context

The Goldsmiths Textile Collection & Constance Howard Gallery began life as the Constance Howard Resource and Research Centre in Textiles (CHRRCT), which opened to the public for the first time in 2003. The Centre was awarded a three-year Resource Enhancement Grant from the then Arts and Humanities Research Board. In 2011 the CHRRCT was renamed Goldsmiths Textile Collection & Constance Howard Gallery and came under the auspices of Special Collections, Goldsmiths Library.

The Collection was formed in the 1980s by Audrey Walker, the then head of the Department of Textiles. At the Collection’s core are the personal and prized textiles of Constance Howard, an avid collector and the College’s first tutor in textiles (after whom the Gallery is named), as well as her teaching notes and experimental samples, created by her students at Goldsmiths from the late 1940s until her retirement in 1975.

The Collection is used by a wide variety of researchers from different disciplines, including visual arts, anthropology, history and design. Students, academic staff and researchers, both from within Goldsmiths and outside, together with members of the public use the Collection. 

The Object Collection

Detail of embroidery on boy's ceremonial jacket, Pakistan, mid to late twentieth century

The Object Collection has over 4,000 objects. In addition to teaching samples, there are also items of domestic embroidery, print, and weave, and textiles using other forms of construction and embellishment. It contains Japanese techno fabrics, ethnographic, and art textiles. Elements within the Collection represent a landmark in the history of British twentieth century textile art, telling the unique and distinctive story of creative risk and innovation.

There is a reference library that, in addition to books, holds journals and an extensive collection of pamphlets and exhibition catalogues. To view the Library holdings go to:, select ‘Other categories’ then choose ‘Goldsmiths Textile Collection’ from the drop-down list.

We organize a prize, the Christine Risley Award, which is awarded annually to a Goldsmiths student for outstanding work in the field of textiles, broadly conceived.
The Constance Howard Gallery holds exhibitions and hosts talks and workshops.

The Slide Collection

Yolande Beriot, BA Textiles Graduated 1989

The unique slide collection – comprising several thousand slides of students’ work – dates from the late 1940s to the present day. Many Goldsmiths’ graduates are internationally recognized artists. The Collection also contains slides from many textile teachers and artists that have documented not only their own work but also their range of research interests.

A large project is currently underway to catalogue and photograph all objects in the collection and make this information available online at:

We would be pleased to receive any information that enhances our records. Please email with any comments or queries.

Copyright and Permitted Uses

Slide Archive - Rights

All images held within this database are the copyright of Goldsmiths, University of London. Copyright in the original artwork belongs to the artist. Every effort has been made to trace the copyright holders to gain permission for use of the images of work held within the Centre. We would be grateful for any information concerning copyright of our images and we will withdraw them immediately on copyright holder's request, if appropriate. Please direct any enquiries to:

Objects - Rights

The images and metadata presented in Goldsmiths Textile Collection are the copyright of Goldsmiths, University of London. They may be used for private research and study purposes only. They must not be copied or amended in any way without first gaining the permission of the copyright holder. Enquires regarding reproduction should be sent to the address below.

Goldsmiths Textile Collection & Constance Howard Gallery
University of London
New Cross
London SE14 6AF
Tel: +44 (0) 207 717 2210/2295

Twitter @Textilesgold

Clare Wright, BA Textiles Graduated 1997

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