Annie Barlow (1863 – 1941)
Hand stitched onto stretch calico using DMC thread (Nov 2017)
Commissioned by Bolton Museum for their new Egyptology wing
(private unveiling 21st September 2018)
Public viewing as part of Bolton’s Egypt collection from 22nd Sept 2018
Annie Barlow was a pioneering traveller and Secretary for the Bolton Egypt Exploration Society. I was asked to create a portrait of her to honour her vast contribution as a benefactor to Bolton Museum.
I was moved by Barlow’s tenacity and courageous flouting of social norms. As an unmarried woman, it was unheard of to be working and travelling to capacity as which she was engaged. I felt a strength and kinship for her story and loved creating this portrait of her.
Bolton benefited from Annie Barlow’s support for the Egypt Exploration Society. Excavators in Egypt were allowed to keep a proportion of their finds, and the Egypt Exploration Society used this system to raise money for excavations, giving objects to institutions or collectors who had funded their work.
Annie Barlow asked for her share of the excavation finds to be given to the Chadwick Museum, the forerunner of Bolton Museum. Therefore a large part of Bolton Museum’s egyptology collection derives from the EES excavations which Annie Barlow was part of.