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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‘Mde de Maupeou prays Mr Barbier to give the courier thirteen aunes of cloth … ‘

38041800167801 Letter from a series of Letters & Orders addressed to M. Barbier - Marchand de soie de la famille Royale & to his partner Tétard; French (Paris); c.1755 - c.95. National Art Library

Mde de Maupeou prays Mr Barbier to give the courier thirteen aunes of cloth following the selected sample; he would also like to put them on his bill. Ableiges 31 August 1789   Mde de Maupeau The Europe Galleries will boast a display dedicated to ‘Silks’. Considering the progression of 18th-century silk fashions ‘from design to […]

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“A-well-a, everybody’s heard about the bird, Bird, bird, bird, b-bird’s the word …”

bird beauty

Last week, my LGBTQ Co-Chair Zorian Clayton and I had the pleasure of meeting up with Bird la Bird and her friend Michael Atchmann in the Museum, to chat about plans for an exciting event we have coming up in November. Sunday 22nd November to be precise – so note it in your diaries now!! Its […]

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Presenting The Globe

THe Globe - European Gallery's - This installation by the Cuban art collective
Los Carpinteros (The Carpenters) is a response to the theme of the Enlightenment. 26th June 2015

Some of you may have seen press reports in recent weeks, announcing the installation of ‘The Globe’, an exciting contemporary commission in the Europe Galleries. The Globe is a curved architectural sculpture made from a lattice of engineered beech that forms a ‘room within a room’. Whenever I need to visit the galleries (as part of […]

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Drinking to the Shoemakers


With Shoes: Pleasure and Pain now in full swing, I thought it was about time to raise a drink to the shoemakers of 17th and 18th century Europe! Across Europe, drinking alcohol was deemed essential for the good health and harmony of society at all levels. Rituals, such as toasting and drinking games, were performed […]

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Pride of Place


Having already heard about early trials of this project (but being sworn to secrecy about it!), we’re excited to see today’s launch of Historic England’s new research project Pride of Place. Historic England (formerly known as English Heritage) are working with historians at Leeds Beckett University’s Centre for Culture and the Arts to identify buildings and places with […]

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V&A and Proud


I’ve just got back to my desk having thoroughly enjoyed one of today’s LGBTQ Gallery Tours. These were additional tours specially organised in recognition of tomorrow’s Pride in London parade. It was really great to see so many people there. As we first gathered, I counted about 100 of us somewhat taking over the Main Entrance, […]

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A Proud and Posturing Great-Grandfather


Images of Louis XIV played an important role in celebrating, commemorating and promoting his power. Many survive on decorative objects, charting his life from cradle to grave. Almanacs (a type of calendar) were often used to depict the heroic exploits of Louis and his family with illustrations and verses depicting wars, royal weddings and births […]

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Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo


Today marks the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, which was fought on Sunday 18th June 1815, near Waterloo in present-day Belgium. The battle saw Napoleon and his French army defeated by the armies of the Seventh Coalition -comprising of an Anglo-allied army, commanded by the Duke of Wellington, and a Prussian army commanded by Gebhard […]

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LGBTQ Histories in the V&A – Out Online!

lgbtq histories

  Recently we have been excitedly preparing and smartening ourselves up for a more visible presence on the Museum’s website. Today, I’m very pleased to announce that the V&A’s website now includes a hub dedicated to LGBTQ Histories in the V&A. Here, you will be able to read more about: LGBTQ-related objects in the collections, LGBTQ events and […]

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Golden Glitter: Recreating the aventurine speckles on the Dresden Cabinet

Gently heating the film with a hairdryer to soften it ©Tristram Bainbridge

Today’s post comes from Tristram Bainbridge, Furniture Conservator, who has been working on this eye-catching 18th-century writing cabinet for display in the new Europe Galleries. The cabinet will feature in the Fantasies display, which explores fashionable Europeans’ fascination with Chinese and Japanese imagery and the resulting hybrid style that became known by the French term […]

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