Tag: 19th century

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Leaving Buckinham Palace

Planning a Royal visit: traffic management and crowd control in 1899

Traffic management and crowd control were uppermost on Sir John Donnelly’s mind when he sat down to dictate a memo to the Vice President of the Committee of Education on 20 April 1899. The foundation stone laying ceremony for the new museum buildings at South Kensington was only four weeks away and Donnelly was concerned […]

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Exhibition Road Gardens

From quiet garden to world class gallery: a brief history of the Exhibition Road site

The year is 1899 – The rise of Albertopolis is in full, dramatic swing, and South Kensington is quickly becoming a stronghold for the decorative arts, science and culture in Victorian England. The Natural History Museum sits proudly over Cromwell road, South Kensington tube station is bustling with travellers, and the majestic Brompton Oratory presides […]

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Honiton lace veil, 1865 © V&A Collection

A Romantic Frame of Mind

As well as placing the bride in a slight state of mystery for her groom as the ceremony commences, a wedding veil flatters and frames the woman’s face. As in all aspects of wedding wear tradition, a veil must balance style with symbolism. As the ideal of a well to do young bride in white […]

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Frontispiece to 1620 version of 'Don Quixote' NAL: Dyce 2000. ©V&A Museum.

Searching for Don Quixote in the NAL

In Spain, there are efforts afoot to discover the exact location of the grave of one of the country’s greatest writers, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Despite the instant popularity of his masterpiece ‘Don Quixote’, he died in poverty and was buried somewhere in the Convent of Trinitarians in Madrid, but the exact location is unknown.  […]

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Illustration 7. Siamese noblemen in typical Siamese court attire of Indian silk brocade, pha yearababh, long sleeved shirt and lower garment, phanung chongkraben, which could be Indian silk brocade, Indian chintz or Cambodian ikat. This dress is to be worn with seu-krui or full-length coat of gold thread embroidery. Inventory number M28/00024. Photograph courtesy of National Archives of Thailand.

Power Dressing: Siam, Burma, China and the Tai

by Lupt Utama, MA candidate, V&A/RCA History of Design I grew up in the mountainous city of Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand where Myanmar and Laos meet. As a young boy, I vividly remember my grandmother’s elaborate cotton pha-­sin – a tubular skirt which she secured with a chainmail silver belt, to be traditionally worn […]

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Flexura Boots  ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Figure Training

 “From the earliest periods of the world’s history down to the present day it has been found necessary to employ systems of restraint and correction calculated to adapt the unformed and unfashioned figure”. Figure training or art the handmaid of nature by EDM was published in 1870, partly as a vindication of altering the human […]

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The finished panel. Museum no. C.317-1927.

Stained Glass on Paper: Morris & Co. and the Pre-Raphaelites

[Stained glass] is a very limited art and its limitations are its strength. (Edward Burne-Jones, 1897) The qualities needed in the design […] are beauty and character of outline; exquisite, clear, precise drawing of incident. (William Morris, 1890) In my previous post, I looked at some early stained glass designs, and mentioned how the established techniques […]

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Design for a gravestone for Caleb Hill by Philip Webb, 1888

A Wander among the Tombstones

Anyone who came to this page hoping for some shots of Liam Neeson looking menacing in a corduroy coat, please click here now. To anyone still reading, I thought Halloween was a good time to introduce you to some unexpected objects that keep popping up in the work of 19th-century architect-designers… Designs for tombstones. Philip […]

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2006AH0265

Style and Satire

INTRODUCING GUEST BLOGGER Sarah Grant, curator in the Word and Image Department at the V&A, and co-author of the  V&A’s new publication Style and Satire: Fashion in Print 1777-1927 Style and Satire tells the entertaining story of European fashion and its most fantastical trends from two interrelated perspectives – the lavish, celebratory fashion plate, and […]

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Oil painting of Flatford Mill from a Lock on the Stour

Constable’s Country: Inspired by Suffolk Settings

Much of John Constable’s current reputation as a painter rightly rests on his development of the ‘plein-air’ oil sketch and his naturalistic style of painting. Also powerfully engaging for a contemporary audience is his autobiographical choice of subjects. In this piece, Winsor & Newton Resident Artist Mathew Gibson explores Constable’s complex personal motivations for painting […]

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