Gentleman Jack series 2 costumes come to Halifax to star in a new world exclusive exhibition at Bankfield Museum

A new exhibition launching after the finale of Gentleman Jack this Sunday brings more than 30 season two costumes to Yorkshire. Stephanie Smith reports.

A world-exclusive exhibition of costumes from Gentleman Jack series two will ensure the drama and the style continue long after the BBC One finale on Sunday, May 29.

The exhibition will open at Bankfield Museum in Halifax just two days after the end of the second series of Sally Wainwright’s hugely popular BBC / HBO drama about Anne Lister.

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The museum, not far from Shibden Hall, Anne Lister’s historic home, will host a collection of more than 30 iconic costumes created by renowned designer Tom Pye, costume designer on both seasons of Gentleman Jack, and will run from Tuesday, May 31, to Saturday, December 24, 2022.

Anne Lister, played by Suranne Jones in the BBC drama series.Anne Lister, played by Suranne Jones in the BBC drama series.
Anne Lister, played by Suranne Jones in the BBC drama series.

The exhibition will feature outfits worn by the cast in series two, including Suranne Jones (Anne Lister), Sophie Rundle (Ann Walker) and Gemma Whelan (Marian Lister). The famous top hat that Suranne Jones wore as Anne Lister during filming will take pride of place alongside other recognisable garments and accessories.

Cllr Jenny Lynn of Calderdale Council, said: “We are honoured to have this unique display on loan from Lookout Point, the Gentleman Jack production company. Bankfield Museum in Halifax – Anne Lister’s hometown – is the only place in the world where you can get up close to the amazing costumes of the characters who have had such a deep impact on people across the globe.

“Gentleman Jack, the costume exhibition and other events like the recent Anne Lister Birthday Festival are helping to keep Anne’s legacy alive, and are having a remarkable impact on our visitor economy as Calderdale recovers from the pandemic.”

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Entry to Bankfield Museum, including the Gentleman Jack costume exhibition, is free and there is no need to book. The collection will be displayed in the magnificent surroundings of the museum’s Main Hall and Oak Gallery.

Costumes from series one of Gentleman Jack, on display at Bankfield Museum in 2019.Costumes from series one of Gentleman Jack, on display at Bankfield Museum in 2019.
Costumes from series one of Gentleman Jack, on display at Bankfield Museum in 2019.

There are also plenty of other exhibitions to discover during a visit to Bankfield Museum, including Fashion in Anne Lister’s Time (1791-1840) which explores the different styles of fashion worn during the lifetime of the town’s famous resident, Anne Lister, and show how her own unique style contrasted with what women of that time were expected to wear.

Anne Lister of Shibden Hall, Halifax, was a businesswoman, landowner, lesbian, scholar and traveller. A selection of fascinating 1830s dresses and accessories from Bankfield Museum’s world-class collection of costumes and textiles are be on display, along with many items loaned from museums across the country.

These loans include a selection of locally made dresses from Bradford Museums and Galleries and Kirklees Museums, shoes and an evening dress from Northampton Museum, and day dresses, accessories and a bodice from North Lincolnshire Museum Service and Harrogate Museums.

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There are also loans from current makers, including an 1830s evening dress by dressmaker, Anja Huddart, that won the Costume Society Patterns of Fashion Award 2021. Milliner, Lauren Martin has made an 1830s bonnet especially for the exhibition and historical costume maker, Richard Macfarlane has made a man’s 1830s style coat.

© Lookout Point HBO. Photography Jay Brooks© Lookout Point HBO. Photography Jay Brooks
© Lookout Point HBO. Photography Jay Brooks

In addition, an iconic 1830s costume from the 1999 BBC production of Wives and Daughters worn by actress Rosamund Pike is on display alongside a specially commissioned wig made by Lynn Kelly, a professional wig maker. The design is based on a hairstyle called the Apollo knot that was popular in the 1830s and is trimmed with feathers, beads, and ornaments.

Bankfield Museum opens Tuesday to Saturday from 10am- 4pm.

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