Creating the new Europe 1600–1815 Galleries

The V&A’s collection of 17th- and 18th-century European art and design is unrivalled in its range and quality. The Europe 1600–1815 Project will see the renovation, redisplay and reinterpretation of the seven prime galleries dedicated to this period. In these posts, the Project Team take you behind the scenes, providing an insight into the challenges, developments and discoveries involved in a major gallery project.

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The Making of The Masquerade

A cast in costume filming in front of a green screen

This film takes you behind-the-scenes of The Masquerade interactive film, and the extraordinary group of people that helped create it. Interviews with the participants, the theatre company and V&A staff involved, provide insights into this unique collaboration. We documented the project from the first meeting of the cast to the launch party. The Masquerade is […]

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V&A Podcast: Salon III – ‘Europe through non-European Eyes’

Coffer, late 16th century - early 17th century, Japan. Museum no. FE.33-1983, Purchased with the assistance of the Garner Fund, © Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Meeting once again in the Europe Galleries on the 10th February, our esteemed guests were challenged with the task of flipping their perspective on the history of Europe, and looking at it from the outside in, under February’s Salon theme: ‘Europe through non-European Eyes’. Our three speakers were José Ramón Marcaida (CRASSH at the University […]

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The Game of Love

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A little late for Valentine’s Day, but perhaps of interest to those looking to ‘play the long game’; the object that has taken my fancy today purports to have some wisdom to impart on that tricky subject of love … It can be found in Gallery 5 (The rise of France) as part of the […]

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‘Europa and Britannia’ (V&A Podcast: Salon II)

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Although they have now been open for exactly six weeks, I have to admit that I still get a thrill from popping down into the Europe Galleries to find them now populated, not only with objects but also real-live visitors. Visitors considering objects; taking in the new high ceilings and opened up spaces; conscientiously reading […]

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V&A Podcast: Salon II: ‘Europa and Britannia’

Valance, Unknown, about 1790, England, Museum no. T.63-1936, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

There is a beautiful timeliness to the ‘What Was Europe?’ Salon series, which was seen particularly in the most recent Salon’s theme: ‘Europa vs. Britannia’. For the title of the Salon, we see ‘Europa’, the name of the goddess from Ancient Greek mythology, famed for her abduction by Zeus in the form of a white […]

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V&A Podcast: Salon I: ‘Where was Europe?’

The Globe, installation by the Cuban art collective Los Carpinteros

To celebrate the opening of the new Europe 1600-1815 galleries, the V&A, with the support of the British Academy, is hosting a series of Salon evenings. Leading academics and ‘rising stars’ in research right now have been invited to discuss variations on the overarching theme of the series, the question: “What Was Europe?” The events […]

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Music to our ears – the Boissart mandore

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It is always rather rousing to hear how museum objects can inspire, inform and entertain people in such a variety of ways. I’m particularly interested in when historic objects instigate or influence the making of a contemporary piece. This meant that last week I was very pleased to receive an email from Ian Pittaway letting […]

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Art and Science in Amsterdam

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Following her visit to Liège, Project Curator Liz Miller has once more brought back some interesting new insights from her travels. —- On the 17th and 18th September 2015 I was fortunate to attend an international conference in Amsterdam on Art and Science in the Early Modern Low Countries (1560-1730), jointly organised by Huygens Institute for the History of […]

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So what’s been happening?

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As the impending opening date suggests, the project has very definitely moved into a new phase since the days we were only allowed to go on site in guided groups, sporting hi-viz, helmets, steel toe-caps, goggles and gloves. Since then, the architectural features of the original Aston Webb interior have been restored; the main structures […]

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Last few days to see the reunited Ommegang

One of the marshals © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

2015 is the 400th anniversary of the ‘Triumph of Archduchess Isabella’ in the Brussels Ommegang, which took place on 31st May 1615. To record the 1615 Ommegang, Isabella commissioned the artist Denys van Alsloot to produce six paintings depicting the entire procession. Only four of the original six survive, two being in the Prado in Madrid […]

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