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John Lea Nevinson

(1904-1985), Costume historian

Sitter in 3 portraits

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John Lea Nevinson, by Passport Photo Service - NPG x25117

John Lea Nevinson

by Passport Photo Service
print, 22 February 1983
NPG x25117

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John Lea Nevinson; John Bicknell Auden; W.H. Auden

by Elliott & Fry
bromide print, circa 1917
NPG x25119

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Susan North

21 September 2017, 13:54

I think that this is John Lea Nevinson, dress and textile historian, 1904-1986. He worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum 1929-1939. From 1931-39 he was an assistant keeper in the Textiles Department. After WWII he joined the Ministry of Education, but pursued his interests in dress and textile history, as well as renaissance iconography and prints, publishing articles on these subjects for Connoisseur, Apollo, Costume and other journals. He wrote the essay on dress for Latham & Matthew's Companion to Samuel Pepys diary. The Costume Society (UK) dedicated the 1984 edition of their journal Costume to him (vol18), which includes an appreciation by Donald King, a bibliography of his publications, as well as some photos of Nevinson, from which you will be able to identify if he is the same person as in your photos. Nevinson died in 1985 and there is an obituary in Costume vol.20. Claude Blair, who from your records appears to be the executor of Nevinson's estate, was a former colleague at the V&A. The Auden connection is very intriguing; they would have been young boys in 1917 (haven't worked this out yet!).

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