Charleston is hosting the first museum display of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant’s Famous Women Dinner Service since it was created for Kenneth Clarke in 1932. After this the plates disappeared from public view and their whereabouts were unknown until very recently. The plates were created by Bell and Grant when they lived at Charleston and each plate depicts one famous woman, featuring figures as various as the Queen of Sheba, Sappho, Nell Gwynn, Emily Brontë and Elizabeth I.


Read about our other exhibitions at Charleston here


More about the Famous Women Dinner Service:

The Famous Women Dinner Service: A Critical Introduction and Catalogue by Dr Hana Leaper, one of the first scholars to work on the Angelica Garnett Gift at Charleston

Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell’s Famous Women Dinner Service back at Charleston

Decades Before Judy Chicago’s ‘The Dinner Party,’ Virginia Woolf’s Sister Made a Set of Dinner Plates Celebrating 50 Historic Women



Banner Image Credit: Famous Women Dinner Service, courtesy of Piano Nobile (Robert Travers Works of Art Limited).

What's on

Charleston Festival 2019 17 May - 27 May
Charleston Festival 2019

Programme announced February 2019. Join as a Friend for priority booking    

03 JunWorkshop
Colour theory and mixing

Explore colour observation mixing and creating a sense of light in Oils with Tom Benjamin Vanessa More

The Lord Chamberlain's Men 12 JunTheatre
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

An open-air performance of Shakespeare’s enchanting comedy

22 JunFair
Designer & Makers Fair

Beautiful and unique wares from the finest designers and makers in the South.

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