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Madeleine Ginsburg: Tributes to ‘unforgettable’ Maida Vale fashion figure, while family thank Alzheimer’s support services

PUBLISHED: 16:59 03 September 2020

Madeleine Ginsburg with Paddington Bear. Picture: courtesy of the Ginsburg family

Madeleine Ginsburg with Paddington Bear. Picture: courtesy of the Ginsburg family

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Friends and family have paid tribute to pioneering museum curator Madeleine Ginsburg – who was famed locally for must-attend Bonfire Night parties in Maida Vale and “always shopped in Church Street Market”.

Madeleine Ginsburg at Buckingham Palace. Picture: Nicola BairdMadeleine Ginsburg at Buckingham Palace. Picture: Nicola Baird

Madeleine, who died in July at 91, was born in 1928, grew up in north London and attended Henrietta Barnett School in Hampstead Garden Suburb. She went on to curate fashion collections at the V&A Museum from the 1950s until her retirement as “assistant keeper of dress” in 1988.

She died after suffering with Alzheimer’s – and daughter Lucy was keen to pay tribute to the Memory Service, run by Dr Claudia Wald, and Resonate Arts in Westminster. a group which holds concerts and workshops for people living with memory loss.

In addition to the years spent working at the V&A, Madeleine also helped to set up the Fan Museum in Greenwich and the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey with Helen ALexander and Zandra Rhodes respectively.

She lived in Maida Vale for more than 50 years, and with husband Leslie was a lively presence in local civic groups like the Paddington Waterways and Maida Vale Society.

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Madeleine spent her early years in Golders Green – first living in Dunstan Road.

Lucy added that her mother was someone who ”never stopped wanting to learn”, something exemplified as she took computer classes at Penfold Street Community Hub well into her 80s.

She said her mum had always enjoyed working inclusively and helping others in their careers – something borne out in letters the family had received since her passing.

Friend and writer Nicola Baird told this newspaper: “She was an amazing and forceful woman. Very inspiring – and for years hosted an annual fireworks party coinciding with the Warrington Crescent Gardens bonfire and fireworks.

“She was a very generous mixer of friends and family of every generation.”

Anne Morgan-Kendry, a friend and neighbour of Madelieine’s in W9, said they had met by chance and discovered they were neighbours. Calling her “an unforgettable and dynamic woman”, Anne paid tribute to her generosity and “formidable knowledge”, and said she fondly remembered the annual Bonfire Night parties.

Madeleine, who leaves children Mark and Lucy and their families, was also an active member of the Jewish community locally, attending events at the St John’s Wood Liberal Jewish Synagogue in her later years.


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