The Subversive Stitch

Scope and Content

Archive of The Subversive Stitch exhibition held in 1988. Arranged in two boxes, box 1 includes the exhibition proposal, correspondence, research, artist's documentation, press material and images accrued by Pennina Barnett. Some correspondence is included as photocopies. Box 2 contains a collection of contemporary ephemera and cuttings compiled by the Women's Art Library.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Subversive Stitch was an exhibition in two parts: The Subversive Stitch: women and textiles today, at Cornerhouse, Manchester 27th May to 17th July 1988 and The Subversive Stitch: embroidery in women's lives 1300-1900, at The Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester 27th May - 30th July 1988. The exhibition was research and selected by by Pennina Barnett. Both exhibitions developed ideas raised by Rozsika Parker in her book 'The Subversive Stitch: embroidery and the making of the feminine', published by The Women's Press, 1984 and a catalogue was published to accompany the exhibition, published by Whitworth Gallery/Cornerhouse, 1988, essay by Jennifer Harris.


Broadly arranged by section and date.

Access Information

Open for consultation by appointment.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Pennina Barnett in 2010.

Other Finding Aids


Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Box 1 includes a collection of 35 mm slide transparencies of work included in the exhibitions.

Archivist's Note

Addresses on photocopied correspondence have been redacted.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials may not be copied, except with specific permission of the copyright holder/s.

Location of Originals

Originals of correspondence retained by the donor.


The subversive stitch : embroidery in women's lives 1300-1900. Manchester : Whitworth Art Gallery : Cornerhouse, 1988.