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Uncovering Michelangelo’s David

The renovation of the V&A’s Cast Courts has given me the opportunity to study and conserve one of the V&A’s most iconic objects, Michelangelo’s David – albeit in cast form. It’s tempting to think of a cast of a sculpture as something of an inferior copy, but the V&A’s plaster cast of probably the most famous […]

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Motarola WT4000 Wearable Terminal

Wearable tech: who wears it?

Look carefully at the wrists of those around you and you will likely see someone sporting an activity tracker of some kind – a Nike Fuelband, a Fitbit or even a Misfit Shine. Bright and shiny, these health and fitness gadgets are a new type of personal accessory: devices, which in the words of Jawbone, […]

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It’s a marathon not a sprint!: A very brief overview of exhibition delivery from a conservation point of view

Questions that are essential to the successful conservation of objects on loan to the V&A often seem out of place or silly to the lenders in Disobedient Objects.  For lenders ‘Not An Alternative‘, this discrepancy arose in the standard question of ‘Where/how is the object currently stored?’ Jason Jones stored their loan – a way-finder […]

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Data, Discovery and Debate – Day One of Thinking Digital 2014

There are some truly fantastic people working in the world of digital for museums, however it’s nice sometimes to get out of the arts and heritage bubble to learn some lessons from the digital community at large. There are ideas and developments circulating in the wider world that have huge implications for us and what […]

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Sent to Nottingham: the diary of a nineteenth-century curator

While looking through an accession of records deposited by the National Art Library in the V&A Archive I came across a diary written by a member of staff who was sent to Nottingham with a travelling exhibition in 1865. In it the writer records his time in Nottingham, including the routine tasks of writing object […]

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Michael Schmidt Wins 5th Prix Pictet

Michael Schmidt has been announced as winner of the fifth Prix Pictet photography prize, selected from a shortlist of eleven. Schmidt was chosen for his monumental work Lebensmittel (food stuff), made between 2006 and 2010. The series combines social documentary and urban topographics and explores the fascinating topic of how we feed ourselves, from the farm to […]

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Floral Flourishes

It feels almost inevitable that every year the Spring/Summer fashion collections will feature more than a sprinkling of floral designs. Whether the trend be couture cut to mimic the formation of petals or tea dresses decorated in ditsy prints, there’s something about flowers and the longer, warmer days they follow which makes us want clothes […]

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Detail from a painting going into the Europe Galleries - 'Witches' Sabbath', oil painitng, Frans Francken (II), Antwerp, 1606 V&A Dyce.3 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Open Books

The passion for reading and collecting books became more widespread during the 17th and 18th centuries. Book collecting could be motivated by the simple pleasure of reading, a love of scholarship or, at times, a desire for pretentious ostentation. Throughout Europe many great private book collections were assembled, a number of which came to form […]

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The Alternative Chelsea Flower Show

Today marks the start of the Chelsea Flower Show and if, like me, you missed out on one of the 157,000 tickets to this highly popular event (or even if you’re one of the lucky ones!), I thought this was the perfect opportunity to explore the incredible collections of all things botanical that we have […]

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Mini Post No.2…Preparing samples for testing

Today I tested some of the different ratios of of Paraffin oil and carbon black, a standard soil, that have been mentioned in literature. Once the ideal one has been chosen I can used it in my cleaning experiments. The % quoted in the photo below is the wt% of paraffin oil used.

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