High Tops, Knobs, Birdseyes and Mites
celebrating 400 years of Dorset Buttony
Open call for artists
The Dorset Button industry was a major part of many people’s lives in east Dorset for 200 years. Abraham Case stated making buttons in the 1620s after settling in Shaftesbury. The business was to remain in the same family until its demise in the 1800s when handmade buttons were replaced by machines. To find out more about the history of this heritage craft and for examples of original buttons. See the section below 'Where to go for information' of recommended websites and museums for examples of original Dorset Buttons.
We are looking for artists who are prepared to share your interpretation of the Dorset Button industry at an exhibition in Shaftesbury Arts Centre from 13 July to 19 July 2022 to celebrate the birth of this local cottage industry 400 years ago.
This exhibition of contemporary art inspired by Dorset Buttons, its history, the people and the villages, towns and countryside are one of a number of events planned to celebrate 400 years.
If you are interested and would like further information on how to apply and about this exhibition please download the Application form and Terms and Conditions for Exhibiting.
Shaftesbury Arts Centre
Shaftesbury Arts Centre, or SAC as it's affectionally known locally, is at the heart of the community in Shaftesbury. The town that Abraham Case started his button business in Dorset in the 1620s
It is ideally situated in the centre of town opposite a pay for carpark off Bell Street. Only a four minute walk away from the far end of the carpark!
The purpose built Gallery is a light and airy space ideal for exhibitions.
For further details about this popular Gallery go to SAC website
Where to go for Information
There is a wealth of information about the history of the Dorset Button industry in the web. But to save you time try the following sites in the first instance.
this site also shown images of original Dorset Buttons
The Regency Redingote
To view original Dorset Buttons try the following museums
Gold Hill Museum, Shaftesbury
Blandford Fashion Museum, Blandford Forum
Dorset Museum, Dorchester
How to contact Anna McDowell
Mobile: 07432 604982