Victoria and Albert Museum

The world’s greatest museum of art and design

Opening times

10.00 to 17.45 daily
10.00 to 22.00 Fridays

Richard Mulholland

Author: Richard Mulholland (Paper Conservator)
I'm fascinated by the V&A's collection of Jain paintings. Examining them closely, understanding how they were created is fascinating. The manuscripts were originally collected by the V&A for their visual appeal, rather than as religious documents. However, they are also of significant religious and cultural value to the Jain community. Mehool Sanghrajka, current Director of...
Author: Richard Mulholland (Paper Conservator)
One of the more unusual activities for us in the conservation department this week was to restore damage to Laurent Mareschal’s Jameel Prize installation 'Beiti'. The curious fingers of a member of the public (undoubtedly interested in confirming that Mareschal’s intriguing tiled floor pattern was in fact made with spice and not ceramic tiles) had badly damaged the edges of...
Author: Richard Mulholland (Paper Conservator)
V&A Paintings Conservators Nicola Costaras and Clare Richardson have discovered a previously unknown oil sketch by John Constable in the V&A's collection. The original sketch, 'Branch Hill Pond, Hampstead', had been glued to a canvas lining at some stage before it came into the V&A's collection in 1888, completely obscuring the sketch on the other side. Suspecting that...
Author: Richard Mulholland (Paper Conservator)
The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design, and as such, one might surmise that its conservation department would not have to deal with the issues surrounding human remains.That said, the theatre and performance collection at the V&A contains a number of unusual objects, one of them being this somewhat macabre human skull: Human Skull. S.117-1981. © Victoria and...
Author: Richard Mulholland (Paper Conservator)
Destined to be an iconic exhibition, Masterpieces of Chinese Paintings 700-1900 will open this week to a public eager to see some of the most remarkable examples of Chinese painting from 1200 years of tradition.Detail from 'Nine Dragons', Chen Rong, 1244, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Photograph © 2013 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.The paintings have been lent to the exhibition by...
Author: Richard Mulholland (Paper Conservator)
It seems that V&A Conservation are in favour at the BBC at the moment. This week, V&A Senior Paper Conservator Susan Catcher is featured on the BBC Four documentary, Fabric of Britain: The Story of Wallpaper, talking about the difficulties (and dangers) of treating wallpaper containing arsenic.Death by Wallpaper?Prior to the late 18th century, there were few pigments that produced a...
Author: Richard Mulholland (Paper Conservator)
A few weeks ago, the art historian and presenter James Fox (A History of Art in Three Colours, British Masters) came by the conservation department to film a segment for 'A Very British Rennaissance', a new documentary series to be shown next year on BBC 2. He came to discuss the materials and methods used by the great English miniature painter, Nicholas Hilliard with the V&A’s...
Author: Richard Mulholland (Paper Conservator)
David Bowie Is… finally closed its doors on Sunday 11 August. By the day of opening back in March, pre-booked tickets had reached over 67,000, and when the doors closed for the last time at South Kensington, a record 311,000 visitors had seen the exhibition.But David Bowie - always an artist to keep moving forward - will now be on tour for the next three years (in exhibition form at least...
Author: Richard Mulholland (Paper Conservator)
This September, the V&A's Nehru gallery of South Asian art will be transformed when the current display in the gallery is changed and around 85 new paintings and 20 textiles are installed.The V&A's collections of South Asian art are the most comprehensive and important in the Western world. The paintings in the collection number some 5000, most of which are very sensitive to light...
Author: Richard Mulholland (Paper Conservator)
Welcome to the V&A Conservation Blog. One of the largest in the country, the V&A's Conservation Department comprises of more than forty Conservators and Conservation Scientists, who specialise in particular areas of conservation that reflect the wide variety of the collections held by the Museum. There are specialist studios for books, works of art on paper, easel paintings, sculpture...