1954 v 2010

It continues to amaze me that so many visitors to the V&A’s Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes 1909-1929 also saw the Richard Buckle’s 1954 Diaghilev. The average age of visitors does not appear to make that possible! Nevertheless, each week several arrive and make a point of telling me about the wonders of the Buckle show and how we cannot possibly live up to their recollections of that great exhibition. I am pleased to say that on leaving the V&A’s show some confess that they think we have met the challenge of their memories. It is a very different exhibition (fewer designs, far more costumes) but once again an individual atmosphere is evoked.


Several posters (one in shocking pink) and fliers were produced for 1954. This London flier boldly acknowledging the support of ‘The Observer (Outside Activities)’. This was The Observer’s sponsorship programme and at the Press View at the V&A I met a delightful woman who had been employed by that programme. One of her daily responsibilities was the spraying of Forbes House with Mitsouko perfume.

The green flier includes a map showing where Forbes House was located, announces the programme of music to be heard in the ‘Hall of the Sleeping Beauty’ and that ‘Refreshments are served in the Exhibition’.


The Menu for the refreshments supplied by Fortnum & Mason makes interesting reading

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