After filing my blog yesterday I returned to the galleries for a last look. After 17.15 the crowds thinned out and among the last visitors were a widely diverse group; two children were dancing in front of The Firebird and a family was making lightening sketches of costumes. Visitors departed reluctantly but happily and I knew I’d never see the full exhibition again.
How right I was. By the time I reached the gallery this morning the whole of the Rite of Spring section had been dismantled including the Meissen figures from Le Carnaval and the designs and drawings of Le Coq d’or . By the end of today virtually all the pictorial material – designs, illustrations, ephemera etc that will be going on tour were down from the walls, indeed the only flat material was loans for which the presence of couriers were needed to supervise de-installation. The Fabergé material and Yves Saint Laurent outfits had been condition checked and packed for travel as was Karsavina’s controversial Salome costume.
Costume for Salomé in La Tragédie de Salomé (1913) designed by Serge Sudeikin and made in St Petersburg by Caffi premiered at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées
A vast hired refrigerator is located across from the Firebird cloth and there appears to be a line of costumes waiting for their turn to be frozen – of which more tomorrow as the freezing process begins.