Geoffrey Squire (1924-2011)
Geoffrey retired to Norfolk after a long and varied career in London as a designer,educator, historian, author and scholar. Theatre design, and the history of fine and applied arts especially textiles and costumes, were his passions, and he was one of the founder members of the Costume Society and an early
In Norwich he met fellow textile and costume historians Pamela Clabburn and Helen Hoyte, both of whom very involved with the Costume and Textile Study Centre (CTSC) and with C&TA. Geoffrey became a valued volunteer at CTSC and a regular and popular lecturer there. He also contributed a series of lively and erudite articles for the C&TA Newsletter (the fore-runner of Miscellany). His writing was both informed and perceptive, and his book Dress, Art and Society (Studio Vista, 1971), now out of print, remains to this day on the V&A reading list.
A review of his unpublished manuscript Masculine Habits, 1850-1970 appears in the 2015 issue of Miscellany.
Following his death in 2011, the C&TA received an astonishingly generous legacy. In 2014, C&TA used £3,000 of our legacy to underwrite the very successful Geoffrey Squire Memorial Competition exhibition 'Silvery Threads' and a biennial bursary in his name is being launched in 2017 to support and encourage research and study in the fields of costume and textiles. Further details below.
Geoffrey Squire lies at rest in a quiet Norfolk churchyard. We will continue to honour with gratitude the memory this remarkable and generous benefactor.
Geoffrey Squire Memorial Bursary
Thanks to a generous legacy from the estate of the late Geoffrey Squire C&TA intends to award a bursary in his memory. In keeping with his career and lifelong interests, the bursary will be awarded to support research work and study in the field of textiles or costume. A bursary may be offered biennially.
Successful applicants of the 2017 bursary award; Aviva Leigh, Dr Michael Nix
The first award went to Michael Nix who is doing some incredible research related to the export of Norwich Textiles in the 1700s when the industry was at its most successful. He is to visit the Bibliothéque Forney in Paris to Study the Moccafy Manuscripts. Moccafy, a Piedmont merchant, toured and kept notes on a large number of manufacturers throughout Europe in the hope of imitating them in Piedmont! This should give us a greater knowledge of Norwich’s Global Trade in Textiles and will form part of a planned Dictionary of Norwich Textiles.
The second award went to Aviva Leigh and Michael Nix who will work together on a technical analysis of the fabric swatches in the early Norwich Pattern Books and then to reconstruct up to 4 of the patterns.
This should give us a greater understanding of the methods used to produce ‘Norwich Stuffs’ and give us a greater sense of how the pieces would have appeared and felt. Both parts of the project will contribute to the planned
Dictionary of Norwich Textiles.
Dr Michael Nix
Following the success last year of the inaugural awards for the Geoffrey Squire Memorial Bursary, our call for proposals for the 2019 awards will be published in next years Noticeboard, so please watch this space.