Sunday, July 14, 2024

Out Shopping: The Dresses of Marion and Maud Sambourne (1880-1910)

Must read

ANNOUNCEMENT – Please note that the Verey Exhibition Gallery at Leighton House will be closed for filming of the Out Shopping exhibition between 10am-12noon on Friday 21 June. The gallery will reopen after midday. The  historic interiors and all other areas in the museum remains open as usual. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.


Out Shopping: The Dresses of Marion and Maud Sambourne (1880-1910)  unveils the Sambourne House collection of dresses belonging to Marion and Maud Sambourne, showcasing hardly seen, rare surviving examples by leading dressmakers of the era. For the first time in the history of the museums, the exhibition spans across both Leighton House and Sambourne House, inviting visitors to embark on a immersive journey.

Leighton House, the fabulous home of Lord Leighton, the artist, has a fascinating little exhibition of clothes owned by the wife and daughter of the Punch cartoonist, Linley Sambourne. This is brilliant social history!

★★★ Evening Standard

Meet Marion and Maud


Marion Sambourne was the wife of Victorian illustrator Linley Sambourne. Their daughter, Maud, shared an artistic flair which she abandoned in pursuit of a prosperous marriage with Leonard Messel.

This major exhibition features a selection of dresses they wore for special moments and social occasions, many of them of national significance as rare surviving examples by leading designers of the era – often female.

An intimate story of the lives of a middle-class mother and her affluent daughter, navigating through the late Victorian period and into the 20th century, a moment in history that significantly shaped the way fashion and shopping is consumed today.


Buy Out Shopping: The Magazine




Exhibition Highlights

Highlights in the exhibition include the exquisite blue skirt and jacket with lace cuffs made by eminent court and society dressmaker Sarah Fullerton Monteith Young, which Marion wore to her daughter’s wedding (1898); Maud’s brown velvet embellished chiffon day dress by Mascotte (1906), and the crepe silk lilac tea gown (c.1899-1904) which she wore during her pregnancy, the only maternity piece that has survived in the collection.


To go on display, all the dresses have required extensive conservation, carried out by leading textile conservator Janie Lightfoot in her London studio. Encompassing extensive research and painstaking work, this side of the project has been funded with the help of The Friends of Leighton House, grants from the Pilgrim Trust and the Dr. Lee MacCormick Edwards Charitable Foundation and an Elizabeth Hammond grant from The Costume Society.






The “Out Shopping Exhibition Experience”

For the first time in the history of the museums, Out Shopping  spans across three spaces, offering a thorough, immersive experience into the worlds of dress making and early 20th century shopping .


At Leighton House, the collection of dresses of Marion and Maud Sambourne are on display in the Verey Exhibition Gallery alongside objects from the Sambourne House collections and archive, such as letters, receipts and drawings. The Tavolozza Drawings Gallery presents ‘Out in Paris’,  a selection of street photography by artist Linley Sambourne,  taken during a weekend out in Paris in 1906.  Linley was an avid photographer, often using photos he took as an aid for the production of his Punch cartoons and illustrations. 


The exhibition journey continues at nearby Sambourne House,  for the chance to gain additional insights into the family life of the Sambournes and the opportunity to explore their ‘house beautiful’. See one of Maud’s velvet outfits displayed  in the main bedroom, as well as a documentary film on the fascinating conservation work of the dresses.

Book a Joint Admission Ticket and enjoy the ‘Out Shopping experience’, with full access to Leighton House, Sambourne House, exhibition galleries, displays and documentary film. 


Book joint tickets




Plan your visit

Out Shopping  Exhibition Experience

Full access to Leighton House, Sambourne House, exhibition galleries, displays and documentary film. 

Included within Joint Admission ticket


Out Shopping: The Dresses of Marion and Maud Sambourne (1880-1910)

Leighton House, Verey Exhibition Gallery

Included within Leighton House admission ticket


Out in Paris: Linley Sambourne’s Street Photography

Leighton House, Tavolozza Drawings Gallery,

Free to visit


Open from 23 March  to 20 October 2024

Leighton House opens Wednesdays to Mondays, 10am to 5:30pm (last entry 4:30pm)

Sambourne House opens Wednesdays to Sundays, 10am to 5:30pm (last entry 4:30pm)


Plan your visit


Sign-up to our e-newsletter to be the first one to receive latest exhibition and museums updates



Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, GRoW @ Annenberg

The Sir Edwin and Lady Manton Fund

The Pilgrim Trust

The Costume Society

Dr. Lee MacCormick Edwards Charitable Foundation

Joanna Banham

Bernice Spence & Karen Moore

John & Melanie Miles

Robin & Dominique Holland-Martin

Shirley Nicholson

The Friends of Leighton House


Latest article