Collection of personal and professional correspondence, diaries, original artwork and needlework, notebooks, sketchbooks, research notes, lecture drafts and press clippings. It includes copies of Marion Fletcher’s publications as well as other books, pamphlets and journals.
Marion Fletcher (1910–2012): curator and costume historian. Marion Fletcher was born in Scotland in 1910 where, having completed her early education, she undertook a Diploma in Design as well as teacher training specialising in art. From 1935 to 1942 she taught design at the Edinburgh College of Art before being seconded to the Air Ministry and Ministry of Works during WWII. Fletcher migrated to Australia in 1946 where she found employment with textile designer Vida Turner before taking up a position in the School of Art at Melbourne Technical College (now RMIT University) in 1950. For the following 18 years Fletcher taught embroidery and fashion illustration at RMIT, advancing to the position of Senior Lecturer by 1964. During this time she continued in her own practice, exhibiting textile designs and embroidery and winning the prestigious Grafton Award for textile design in 1953. In 1962 Fletcher was appointed Honorary Curator of Costume at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) and in 1968 she resigned from RMIT to take up the position of Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts (Textiles) at the Gallery. Here she laid the foundations for its significant collection of international and Australian fashion and textiles.
In 1966 Fletcher's booklet Female Costume in the Nineteenth Century was published by the NGV, heralding her third career as an historian for upon her retirement in 1972 Fletcher published the booklet Costume and Accessories in the 18th Century (1977) for the NGV, followed by Costume in Australia 1788-1901 (1984) and, with the assistance of Leigh Purdy, Needlework in Australia: A History of the Development of Embroidery (1989).
This collection is arranged chronologically according to material type in 26 boxes. An inventory is available. Personal correspondence (1939 to 2006) – Diaries, note books and sketchbooks (1940s-2001) – Original art work (1950s) – Notes and research material for book, ‘Costume in Australian 1788-1901’ – Publications – Original needlework (1950s – 1960s) – Lectures, book proposals and other publications.