Monthly Archives: November 2010

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Visualising the Space

In an attempt to organize and group the objects, and decide on the themes represented in the exhibition, the product of days spent in the archives is a so-called ‘pin-up’. Starting the selection process with over 400 pieces, narrowing it down to just under a hundred, the pieces then underwent a pre-selection process in order to prioritize those that most vividly illustrate the themes to be brought out in the exhibition. As there will not be any labels in the gallery space and the exhibition is essentially installation-based, I had to lay out an idea of how the pieces would …

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Signs of the Times

This guest post has been contributed by RCA/V&A History of Design graduate Charlotte Austin. How would you describe your location in a world without house numbers? What if those looking for you couldn’t follow written aids, due to poor street lighting or their own illiteracy? Before the introduction of the numbering system in the eighteenth century, addresses were given like this: To be let, Newbury House, in St. James’s Park, next door but one to Lady Oxford’s, having two balls at the gate, and iron rails before the door. From strikingly-painted houses, doors, door-posts and balconies, to candles and coloured …

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Talks, tours and visitors from overseas

Costumes from The Rite of Spring 1913 The last two weeks have seen a positive flood of presentations on the exhibition with tours for special groups and up to three talks a day. The talks have been to student groups, ballet organisations and other enthusiasts. One student group from Brighton specifically asked for a presentation focusing on the challenges of displaying theatrical costumes. The photos of costumes from The Rite of Spring show how they were displayed in Spotlight in the V&A in1981 and how they are being displayed now. The majority of talks have been at the museum although …

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Shadow Catchers/ Friday night late event

'Shadow Box' performance set in the Cast Courts at the V&A MuseumImages by V&A photographer Peter Kelleher

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Design Perspectives

The original French Manager from Parade at rest 1917 Photo by Lachmann V&A images (The original glass plates for this series of photographs are in the Theatre & Performance Collections of the V&A) There was something of a party atmosphere in the lecture theatre and Raphael Gallery at the V&A last Friday when 'Ballets Russes Design Perspectives' a two-year collaboration between the London College of Fashion and English National Ballet climaxed with the students showing the outfits they had designed taking inspiration from the Ballets Russes. The project culminated with a short ballet for six dancers from ENB choreographed by …

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The Book

After months of commissioning, writing and editing, it has arrived: the colour proof of the Yohji Yamamoto exhibition book : Art direction by Peter Saville and beautifully designed by Yes studioI cannot wait to hold the first real copy in my hand next year. With contributions by long-term collaborators of Yohji Yamamoto’s such as Masao Nihei, Max Vadukul, Marc Ascoli, Nick Knight and Peter Saville, contextual essays on Yamamoto’s work and the way it has been exhibited and an in-depth interview with the man himself, it should certainly make a good read.

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What did a Chinese emperor do

Since working on this exhibition I have asked myself more than once: what did a Chinese emperor do to govern a country with a population of a hundred million (that was the figure when the Manchu took over as ruler of China in 1644). The Manchu was a minority people who led a nomadic life outside the Great Wall before they seized power. They did not build the Forbidden City – they simply inherited it from the previous dynasty, the Ming. It was in the Palace of Supreme Harmony that the first Manchu emperor, Shunzhi, ascended the throne. He wore …

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A Trip to the Moon

On Friday ‘ES’ the colour supplement that accompanies the London Evening Standard included a feature of what to buy for Christmas. Among its recommendations was a page of Christmas cards one of which was the V&A’s ‘Snow Ballet’ shown above. The card shows a ballet scene from Voyage dans la lune or Trip to the Moon, originally by Mms. Leterrier, Vanloo and Mortin, with music by Jacques Offenbach and choreography by Henri Justamant. It was one of the most successful ‘opéra-féerie’ created in Paris. Premiered on 28 October 1875 at the Gaîté Théâtre it quickly became an international hit. Translated …

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Forthcoming exhibitions at The Old Vic Tunnels, Waterloo and The Gopher Hole, Hoxton

Curiouser and Curiouser, at The Old Vic Tunnels A group exhibition curated by Submit2Gravity showcasing extraordinary, innovative and diverse range of art forms with dramatic and surprising results. Exhibition opening 20th-21st November About a Minute, at The Gopher Hole An inaugural exhibition in the new gallery space The Gopher Hole curated by Aberrant Architecture and Beatrice Galilee, exploring new ways of curating ideas in contemporary culture and to provide a forum for sharp, critical debate on the arts and society. Exhibition opening 9th December

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Italian Art in Britain: a love story

By Glyn Davies Anyone who’s visited the Medieval & Renaissance Galleries can’t fail to have noticed their strongly Italian flavour. Italian art and craft is one of the strengths of the Museum’s historical collections, and it’s telling that we possess probably the most important collection of Italian renaissance sculpture outside Italy. Visitors can see works […]

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