Happy Birthday, Beatrix Potter!

Beatrix Potter photographed aged 9.

The author and illustrator Beatrix Potter recalled one of her birthdays, her tenth, in her journal: “I remember so clearly – as clearly as the brightness of rich Scotch sunshine on the threadbare carpet – the morning I was ten years old – and my father gave me Mrs Blackburn’s book of birds, drawn from […]

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In harmony: sharing skills on a virginal

Furniture conservator Dana Melchar retouching a resin restoration

Fi Jordan, Senior Ceramics Conservator Dana Melchar, Senior Furniture Conservator The conservation of an early seventeenth-century virginal (402-1872) for the Europe 1600-1800 Galleries provided an opportunity for the sharing and development of skills within the V&A Objects Conservation Section (Figure 1). The virginal is composed of materials – wood, leather, glass, enamel and various metals […]

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Short film about Matt Smith’s project Spode: a 31 Note Lovesong

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Hear from Matt Smith, V&A Ceramics resident October 2015 – March 2016, about how his visit to the Spode factory in Stoke-on-Trent inspired him to create a new ‘soundscape’, a visual melody singing to the current state of the factory. A collaboration with composer Dimitrios Skyllas has resulted in an aural composition based on this […]

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Movement Alphabet: Mapping the intricacies of the moving body

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On Saturday 16th July Jan Lee and Tim Murray-Browne were invited to take part in our monthly Digital Design Drop-In programme. We were delighted that they were able to share with the public their new work combining interactive technology with personal one-on-one participatory work. What is Movement Alphabet? by Jan Lee and Tim Murray-Browne                                    Movement Alphabet […]

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The Ethics of Dust: Trajan’s Column

Art installation made of conservation latex that has been used to ‘clean’ the hollow inside of the cast of Trajan’s Column.

If you missed Jorge’s installation at the V&A, or would like to see more of his work, a new commission for ‘ The Ethics of Dust ‘ is currently on display in Westminster Hall, Palace of Westminster, London. https://www.artangel.org.uk/project/the-ethics-of-dust/   Sarah Healey-Dilkes, Senior Sculpture Conservator Jorge Otero-Pailos, Artist, Architect, Preservationist SHD: Your artwork, ‘The Ethics of Dust: […]

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Conservation Journal Number 63 Editorial

Furniture conservator Dana Melchar retouching a resin restoration

Welcome to the V&A Conservation Journal No. 63!   This issue begins with the Editorial, which gives some clues about the articles that will be posted over the coming weeks. Sandra Smith Head of Conservation & Technical Services   December 2015 saw the opening of the stunning Europe 1600-1815 Galleries, a suite of seven galleries which track the political, social […]

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James Cox’s magical clocks

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Sensing Time, our conference held last month with the Science Museum, challenged us to think about clocks in new ways and to understand them as the complex objects they are. Inspired by the conference, this blog examines two timepieces made by Londoner James Cox in the 1770s. Both objects contain horological mechanisms, and yet both cannot […]

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The Making of The Masquerade

A cast in costume filming in front of a green screen

This film takes you behind-the-scenes of The Masquerade interactive film, and the extraordinary group of people that helped create it. Interviews with the participants, the theatre company and V&A staff involved, provide insights into this unique collaboration. We documented the project from the first meeting of the cast to the launch party. The Masquerade is […]

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Pokémon Goes to the V&A

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The recent huge popularity of Pokémon Go (developed by Niantic), even before the official release date in the UK, encouraged us to take a look at the underlying data used in the game and how this relates to our collections. We’ve also been interested to see how the mapping and geolocation aspects of the game work […]

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Saint Cecilia in V&A collections

Ventura Salimbeni, Virgin and Child with the martyred Saint Cecilia and angels, detail © V&A Museum, London

Very few works by the Italian artist Stefano Maderno (1576-1636) survive and his fame rests primarily on the sculpture of Saint Cecilia in the church of Santa Cecilia in Rome, made when he was 23. The sculpture was commissioned by Paolo Emilio Sfondrati (1560-1618) who opened the sarcophagus of Saint Cecilia. Through the inscription beneath, […]

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