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The Extraordinary Gertrude Bell

North East born explorer, archaeologist and diplomat Gertrude Bell is the focus of a major new exhibition at the Great North Museum: Hancock.

Gertrude Bell's bold, risk-taking career embraced archaeology, mountaineering, languages, writing and politics and she is credited with helping to shape the Middle East in the aftermath of World War I.

Exhibition

The exhibition, which runs until 3 May, explores Gertrude's life and career through the themes of archaeology, politics, exploration and her involvement in the creation of the state of Iraq. It also investigates her legacy as a woman living and working in the male-dominated worlds of diplomacy and politics in the early 20th century.

Drawn from Bell's prolific correspondence, papers and photographs, the exhibition also features objects loaned from the British Museum, Imperial War Museum and the Royal Geographical Society.

Some of the items on display include embroidered fabrics that she used as tent dividers while she was living in the desert and more personal items from Gertrude’s travels such as a gold ring set.

Collaboration

The Extraordinary Gertrude Bell is a collaboration between Newcastle University and the Great North Museum: Hancock. Newcastle University is home to the Gertrude Bell Archive, managed by Dr Mark Jackson, Lecturer in Archaeology. Dr Jackson is co-curator of the exhibition.

Dr Jackson said: “There are so many elements of Gertrude Bell's life that have significance for our own times. We hope this exhibition will stimulate considerable interest and debate; she was an extraordinary woman.”

The Extraordinary Gertrude Bell runs at the Great North Museum: Hancock from 30 January to 3 May.

The Extraordinary Gertrude Bell runs at the Great North Museum: Hancock from 30 January to 3 May.

published on: 2 March 2016