Martha Fleming

Title: Deputy Director of VARI
Department: Research

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Windowdressing with Palladio the VARI way

This May, in collaboration with Royal College of Art / V&A History of Design students, VARI Visiting Professor Guido Beltramini curated a rotating microexhibition in the window of his office, drawn from the RIBA/V&A collections.  ‘Palladio Drawing of the Week’ was seen by all the visitors to the Research Department at the V&A — the […]

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VARI Professors Beltramini and De Visscher

VARI Visiting Professor Guido Beltramini (left) explains his ‘fake Palladio’ drawing to VARI Visiting Professor Eric de Visscher in the open plan area of the V&A Research Department.  Beltramini had devised the fake drawing as a device to tune the eye of postgraduate students studying the RIBA/V&A collection of Palladio drawings during his five-day May […]

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VARI Leman Album project goes micro and gets scattered

The Leman Album project has been receiving some important international guests in the form of the conservation science team of MOLAB — the Mobile Laboratory for in situ non-invasive measurements.  The Leman Album project team made a successful application to the Integrated Platform for the European Research Infrastructure on Cultural Heritage, and the first of […]

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People, Places and Things: New Models for Collections-Based Research

A ‘parliament of things’ holds court in an anatomical theatre, precious paintings are suspended for all to see in a giant mirrored bowl, migration histories and scientific mysteries are painstakingly teased out of 300 year-old woven silk and metal – museum research is more adventurous than ever and the inaugural symposium of the V&A Research […]

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VARI Cabinets Workshop travels from art to science through a magic door

The past few days have seen VARI focusing on Opening the Cabinet of Curiosities — one of our key research projects.  Dr Lisa Skogh and Professor Bill Sherman led an international workshop looking at the influence the early modern cabinet has had on both 19th century thinking and recent contemporary art. The working paper presentations […]

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VARI Professor Elizabeth Edwards: a photograph of a photographic historian

The eminent photographic historian and anthropologist Elizabeth Edwards is one of three Inaugural VARI Visiting Professors, and we are delighted to know that she is able to spend a three-year period with the V&A on a part-time basis thanks to the support of the Andrew W Mellon Foundation. Edwards’ long-term investigation of the ‘photographic ecosystem’ […]

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VARI Leman Album interdisciplinary research plan mindmap

At a project planning meeting today, Dr Victoria Button showed me a fantastic diagram she had made of the different areas of research that the Leman Album project team are delving into with their investigation.  Victoria is one of the V&A’s Senior Paper Conservators, and she is also the Project Lead for the Leman Album.  Though it […]

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VARI: Collaborative, Experimental, Museum-Based, Transformative

December is a great time for focusing back and thinking forward, and the VARI Collective — composed of all the Project Leads for the V&A Research Institute — has been meeting to identify the elements of the Institute that are emerging as shared aims and methods.  These whiteboards are a rough record of sorts of our […]

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