Ella Ravilious

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Centro de Arte y Comunicación (CAyC)

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Today’s post is by guest blogger Melanie Lenz, the V&A’s Curator of Digital Art. In this blog entry, posted to co-inside with the 200th anniversary of Argentina’s independence, Melanie explores a small but remarkable number of the V&A’s digital artworks made in Argentina in the late 1960s. The Museum’s extensive collection of early digital artworks […]

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Adolphe Bilordeaux: Photographs as Drawing Lessons

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Albumen print of the cast of a hand by Adolphe Bilordeaux

            You may have noticed from my last post that we are currently working through our collection of photographs of sculpture. This set has been my favourite so far – it is a series of photographs of plaster casts of sculpture. The original sculptures the casts were made from date from the Classical era, […]

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William Kineton Parkes and sculptors of the twenties

Frank Dobson (1887-1963)
Photograph of a sculpture  titled 'Susannah'

We are always keen to discover links between objects, so we were delighted recently to find that a collection of photographs we hold connect directly to archival records in the Archive of Art and Design. The link between these involves one man, the art historian, novelist, and librarian, William Kineton Parkes (1865-1938). Kineton Parkes was particularly […]

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Alfred Percival Maudslay and the V&A

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Albumen print from a gelatin dry plate negative

These striking photographs caught my eye recently, as I don’t normally come across material relating to the Maya in the Photographs Collection. Research showed me they were taken by Alfred Percival Maudslay (1850-1931), a British colonial diplomat, explorer and archaeologist who was one of the first modern archeologists to study the Mayan civilization. He began his career working for the […]

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Gertrude Bell and Hatra, Iraq

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Photograph depicting a detail of a lintel in room 10 of the summer palace at Hatra, Iraq.
Iraq

Here at the V&A we have recently found a small number of photographs taken by the writer, archaeologist, and political administrator Gertrude Bell. These came to light when the recent destruction of Iraqi cultural sites prompted us to look through our collection to discover if we had any images of the places which have been damaged or destroyed. These photographs show […]

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Impractical shoes

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To mark the opening of our wonderful ‘Shoes: Pleasure and Pain’ exhibition, I’d like to share with you these photographs, which came to light as part of my ongoing research into the historic reference photographs we have here at the V&A. These images show shoes in the collection of the Musée de Cluny in Paris. […]

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Views of Norway

V&A: 685-1918 (detail)Photograph of a view of Gejrangerfjord, Søndmør (Norway), taken by  Axel Lindahl

Around a year ago I received some visitors from the Norsk Folkemuseum near Oslo. Ahead of their visit I searched through our photographs collection to see what images we had which related to Norway, ready to show our guests. I was pleased to find we had some very beautiful 19th century photographs of Norwegian landscapes and […]

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“Faithful not fawning”, the woodcarving of Harry Hems

The motto outside Harry Hems' workshop

While moving a store of photographs recently here at the V&A, I came across rather an intriguing character. What led me to him was a box of 19th century photographs of ecclesiastical carvings; we have many hundreds of photographs of woodwork and stonework from religious buildings from around the world in the collection, but what caught my […]

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Butterflies

The Natural History Museum, our neighbours across the road, have opened their Sensational Butterflies exhibition – an outdoor attraction packed with live butterflies. As I sit here at my desk, I see the NHM flag flying above the roof, fluttering in a brisk wind, and it struck me that we have our own sensational butterflies here, too, captured in drawings and paintings and prints. They may not be live, breathing specimens, but I think they're none the less fascinating for that.

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Neither printed, painted, nor drawn…

Not everything in the Prints, Drawings and Paintings collection is printed, drawn, or painted. This post showcases a few of the exceptions to the rule. One of the most popular alternative image-making techniques was cut-paper work. In the eighteenth century, cut-paper pictures were called “shades”, or “profiles” if they were portraits. Although neither term has endured in common usage, cut-paper portraits are now usually called ‘silhouettes’.

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