The Bayeux Tapestry: 950 years of propaganda, intrigue and spin

The Bayeux Tapestry is instantly recognisable and one of the most outstanding cultural objects to survive from the early Middle Ages. Long admired for its vivid narrative, today it is the unanswered questions that most intrigue modern audiences: Was it made in England or France? Was it stitched by men or women? This sparkling lecture, by Timothy Wilcox, looks not only at its creation, but also at its more amazing afterlife. Displayed by Napoleon to bolster French ambitions for a new cross-channel invasion; cherished by Victorian embroiderers as an icon of women’s heroic joint efforts; hunted down by Hitler, who was outwitted by bureaucratic obfuscation.

Timothy Wilcox is a writer, lecturer and exhibition curator with special interests in British art, in landscape and in watercolour painting. He was a museum curator in the British Museum Department of Prints and Drawings following positions at the V&A, in Liverpool and Hove. As a freelance curator and lecturer since 1997, he has organised exhibitions on Laura Knight, Hilda Carline, John Sell Cotman and John Constable, at venues including Tate, The Lowry, the Wordsworth Trust and Dulwich Picture Gallery. He contributes regularly to the Courtauld Institute Summer School and lectures at museums and galleries in Britain, Europe and the USA.

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