Dawn Hoskin

Title: Assistant Curator
Department: Furniture, Textiles & Fashion

I am an Assistant Curator working on the development of the new Europe 1600-1800 Galleries. My interests are wide-ranging but subjects I have particularly enjoyed exploring for this project include: European depictions of Africa and Africans; Dutch domestic interiors; early ballooning; the gambling halls of 18th-century Venice; the fashion for singeries (depictions of monkeys apeing human behaviour!); wig-making and hairdressing. My 'favourite' object going into the new Europe Galleries changes on an almost daily basis ... I am also Co-Chair of the V&A's LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) Group.

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More Strawberry Thieves?

Today has seen the launch of The Strawberry Thief, a new iPad game developed by Sophia George, former Games Designer in Residence. Sophia took her inspiration from the William Morris textile design of the same name, which is on display in Gallery 125F. Having recently been willing the strawberry plants in my garden to come good with their […]

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‘little meat and a great deal of cabbage and turnips have driven us out of Würzburg … This 22nd day of October in the year 1716′

Large writing cabinets, such as the impressive example below, were often important indicators of a gentleman’s status in the 18th century. This cabinet is a fine example of the best craftsmanship of the period and its large size and intricate detailing indicates the importance of the person for whom it was made. It also held within it a secret […]

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Out On Display #8: a subversive love-letter

            Evening dress  Charles James France (Paris), printed silk, 1938 T.274-1974 On display in room 40     At first glance, the playful print on this vivid evening gown is merely a collection of disembodied faces, tumbling over the fabric in the Surrealist style so popular in 1930s couture. In […]

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Out On Display #7: Gluck

          Leonide Massine Waiting for his Cue Gluck (Hannah Gluckstein) England, oil on canvas, 1925 Given by British Theatre Museum Association S.83-1986 On display in room 104A   Born into a wealthy Jewish family, Hannah Gluckstein (1895-1978) defied conventional roles expected of young women of her class and time.   Family […]

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Out On Display #6: Unite to Fight!

                    Unite to Fight           Su Negrin, Inkworks Press           USA, offset lithograph, 1976           Given by Greenwich Mural Workshop           E.152-2011           On display in room 90     This […]

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This engraving forms the title page of a volume. It depicts an ancient stone, with a cameo portrait of Giovanni Battista Piranesi in the centre. The portrait is a copy of a self-portrait by Piranesi, copied by his son for this volume. There are Roman engravings both above and below the cameo. Underneath the stone there are several classical motifs, including an armoured soldier, a city plan of Rome, and Roman vases. VA E.3958-1908

Born on This Day: Giovanni Battista Piranesi

In the late-18th and early-19th centuries, increased travel and archaeological discoveries, at sites such as Pompeii and Herculaneum in Italy, led to a revival of interest in ancient and classical decoration. The work of architect and printmaker Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) helped to pioneer this rediscovery of Roman remains and he was one of the […]

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Portrait of François Boucher, reception piece by Gustaf Lundberg for the Académie Royale de Peinture presented on January 28, 1741. Musée du Louvre

Born on this Day: François Boucher

Having caught the autumnal lurgy which seems to be making its way around the city at the moment, I was off work yesterday. This meant that I’ve been pipped to the post by the V&A’s Facebook page in marking the birthday of the French court painter, draughtsman and etcher François Boucher. I’ve refrained from changing […]

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Out On Display #5: ‘Lord Who Is Half Woman’

          Hindu God Shiva as Ardhanishvara (Lord Who Is Half Woman) Northern India, sandstone, Kushan period 150-200 IM.5-1931 On display in room 47B     Ardhanarishvara is a composite form of the Hindu god Shiva and his consort Parvati. Shiva is a popular Hindu deity and within Shaivism is regarded as the Supreme God.   Ardhanarishvara […]

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Born on This Day: Augustin Pajou

The celebrated French sculptor Augustin Pajou was a contemporary of Clodion, Houdon and Pigalle but is today (despite his obvious skill!) not as well known outside of France as he perhaps should be. Born on 19th September 1730, Pajou grew up in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, then one of the poorer sections of Paris, the son […]

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Steel buttons: Coup de Bouton, etching by William Humphrey, c. 1777. Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University

The Brown Suit: Coup de Bouton!

In my last post I mentioned how ‘Anglomania’ influenced the adoption of darker colours for men’s daytime clothing among the middle and upper classes in late 18th-century France. This move towards a more somber palette brought about a dependency on buttons to create the maximum sartorial impact. A basic rule often seeming to be ‘the […]

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