FuturePlan updates

Find out the latest news from the wide range of FuturePlan projects being carried out around the V&A by architects, designers and leading Museum experts.

FuturePlan is transforming the V&A by revitalising visitor facilities and redisplaying the collections. Using the best architects and designers, we are bringing the V&A into the 21st century and restoring modern design and innovation to the heart of the museum.

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Clothworkers': A Designer for Every Day of the Year

Possibly the greatest benefit of the move to Blythe House, at least from the point of view of managing the collection, is that we are able to organise objects along more logical lines. Earlier this month I conducted a visual audit of our women’s twentieth-century fashion collection, with a view to establishing how many individual designers are represented, and how much space each would need at Blythe.

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Clothworkers': Une tête de papier

By William Newton, Assistant Curator, Furniture, Textiles and Fashion.For anyone who saw the Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones exhibition at the V&A a few years back, you will already have been invested with the ill-kept secret that the Museum has one of the finest collections of millinery in the world.

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Clothworkers': Hanging

By William Newton, Collections Management Assistant, Clothworkers' Centre for Textiles and Fashion Study and Conservation.

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Clothworkers': How to Move a National Collection

By William Newton, Collections Management Assistant, Clothworkers' Centre for Textiles and Fashion Study and Conservation

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Cast of a roundel from the Madrasa of Sultan Hasan, Museum no.827-1884

A plaster cast from Cairo

Among the two-dimensional casts that will eventually be displayed in Gallery 46 – the corridor that runs between the two Cast Courts – is an interesting selection of architectural decoration from two major Islamic centres: the Alhambra in Granada, the palace built by the Nasrid rulers of Islamic Spain in the 14th century; and Cairo […]

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Update – Defining the Decorative Scheme

Continuing the process of revealing the ‘hidden gems’ of the Cast Courts, attention has recently turned towards understanding the original decorative scheme(s).  Tried and tested methods of paint sampling and analysis have been the principal tools for this work although it has also been possible to incorporate knowledge gained from contemporary reports from the 1870’s by […]

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Paintings Conservation – the treatment of Anton Raphael Mengs, Copy of Raphael’s School of Athens

Mengs’ copy of Raphael’s School of Athens was painted in 1755 as one of a series of exemplary works for the gallery at Northumberland House. It was damaged both by a fire there in 1868 and in the subsequent salvage operation. There is minute blistering of the paint surface in places particularly the upper right area […]

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The fountain in the Grottenhof of the Residenz in Munich

Contextualising the Casts

As an intern at the V&A my main task has been locating photographs of the original sculpture that has been cast and displayed in our magnificent Cast Courts. I have scoured the V&A, starting in the Sculpture section’s image bank and then moving on to the seemingly bottomless pit of the Prints and Drawing Study […]

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The trained eye of the sculpture conservator Sarah Healey

Conservation in progress

The practical work on this collection of objects is now progressing. This follows the initial assessments of the condition of each object. The conservation is split between: – a metal conservator, who looks at the electrotypes – an example is the great Baptistery doors known as the Gates of Paradise in gall. 46B, made of gilded copper: […]

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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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