The news coincides with the exhibition celebrating the pair’s partnership in costume design at the BFI Southbank.

(c) BFI National Archive, Ann and John Bloomfield Collection

The BFI have announced that Ann and John Bloomfield, one of Britain’s most successful costume design partnerships, have generously gifted their collection of original designs in its entirety to the BFI National Archive.

Celebrating this news and in recognition of the duo’s influence on and incredible contribution to the art of costume design, the current BFI Southbank Mezzanine Gallery
exhibition, Costume Design: the Alchemy of Ann and John Bloomfield, runs through to the 15th January 2023.

Staged in consultation with the Bloomfields, the exhibition examines the story of their long and successful career, bringing together design drawings as well as original costumes and accessories from their 40 year career. The display showcases some of their best known work including The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970, BBC), Doctor Who (1977, BBC) and the original Poldark series (1975-76, BBC) through to big budget blockbuster films such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) and The Mummy (1999). The exhibition displays 70 of these drawings and photographs from their collection , alongside a number of key loans: jewellery assembled from glass beads, and sumptuous period costumes created through the innovative reuse of household materials such as upholstery fabric, piped glue, washers and everyday hardware.

Claire Smith, Special Collections Senior Curator, BFI National Archive said, “We are incredibly grateful to the Bloomfields for their generous donation to the BFI National Archive, and that these unique drawings – each a standalone work of art in its own right – will be available for future generations to study and enjoy. They give a real insight into Ann and John Bloomfield’s creative process, and will provide a great platform for new research and understanding into this incredibly exciting field. Our accompanying exhibition is an opportunity to celebrate Ann and John Bloomfield as central figures in British costume design; to explore their roots in television and their subsequent global reach; and to ask what influence they may have had on contemporary practice. We always value the opportunity to work closely with donors such as Ann and John, and hope that audiences will enjoy getting to know their work in detail as much as we have.”

To find out more about the exhibition visit:


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