Melanie Vandenbrouck-Przybylski

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Storage Conversations

If you’ve recently been to the V&A and walked over the Gilbert Bayes Gallery of Sculpture which runs mid-height between the two Cast Courts, you will have seen that the Italian side has been cleared of the majority of its casts. This was done to both protect the objects from the renovation works and to […]

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Martin with the School of Athens

Tender Loving Care for a ‘well-behaved painting’

This week, I am introducing you to Martin Welsh, one of the technicians working on the Cast Court project and whose ‘magic’ operates in the beautiful frame-supports he builds to facilitate object moves and safe storage. Martin joined the V&A in November 2010, after spending three and a half years building exhibitions at the Imperial […]

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Plaster cast of the Bruges Madonna by Michelangelo

From the Captain of a Dutch Corsair to a Victorian Art Referee

When I have a spare moment, I try and go to our Blythe road premises, to do some research on the Cast Courts in the V&A Archives. Ahead of my visits, my colleagues James Sutton and Nicholas Smith have helpfully been digging information about the building of the Cast Courts, the acquisition of the objects, […]

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Strange encounter: a dragon’s egg nestled in the Museum’s attic

In all museums, no matter how big or small, there’s always a time when you make a ‘discovery’ as you stumble upon a piece tucked away in a corner by long-gone curators. Store auditings – a slow, painstaking process, but not without surprises – are propitious times for such encounters to happen. As part of […]

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Copy of Rahael's School of Athens removed from wall for building works

New beginnings

First opened in 1873 at the heart of the building, the V&A’s Cast Courts are two gigantic day-lit galleries, separated by a corridor and filled with copies of some of Europe’s most famous sculptures and monuments. Housed in a dramatic space, these objects have come to speak to each other in unrivalled ways, while their […]

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