Crowfoot, Grace (1877-1957)

Grace Crowfoot, 1877-1957. Grace Crowfoot, 1877-1957. Photograph courtesy John Crowfoot.

Grace Mary Crowfoot was an English scholar who published numerous articles and books about European and Middle Eastern textiles and textile production. She is regarded as one of the Grandes Dames of the study of archaeological textiles.

Grace Mary Hood was born in 1877 in Lincolnshire, England, the oldest of six children. She was known as ‘Molly’ to her family and friends. In 1909 she married John Winter Crowfoot, the Assistant Director of Education in the Sudan, and spent the next few years in Cairo and Khartoum, and later in Jerusalem. They had four children: Dorothy [Hodgkin], who went on to win a Noble Prize for Chemistry (1964); Joan, Elisabeth and Diane.

Grace Crowfoot was a skilled spinner and weaver who studied local textile production techniques wherever she lived. She published various articles and books about anthropological and archaeological textiles. She also made reproductions of Egyptian finds for the British archaeologist, Sir Flinders Petrie, as well as of European woven textiles from various archaeological sources. In 1937 the Crowfoots returned to England, living in Geldeston, Norfolk, where Grace Crowfoot died in 1957.

Various Sudanese textiles and Palestinian garments collected by Grace Crowfoot are now in the British Museum, London. In 2014 her collection of spinning and weaving equipment was donated to the Textile Research Centre (Leiden, The Netherlands).

Source: OWEN-CROCKER, Gale, Elizabeth COATSWORTH and Maria HAYWARD (eds., 2012). Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles of the British Isles, c. 450-1450, BRill: Leiden, pp. 161-164.

Digital source (retrieved 31 March 2016)


Last modified on Wednesday, 05 October 2016 08:56