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A Stitch in Time: the V&A and the Bayeux Tapestry (1)

Photograph of the Bayeux Tapestry by Cundall & Co., 1873. Museum no. E.573:25-2005. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London It seems extraordinary but the V&A once owned a piece of the Bayeux tapestry! Measuring 3¼ in x 2½ in, it was one of two fragments removed surreptitiously (?) by Charles Stothard (1786-1821) sometime between 1816 […]

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Starting to Select the Objects

The majority of our work is not as dramatically visible as the decanting and stripping out of the galleries. The main hub of activity has been happening outside the galleries – in offices, store rooms, libraries, archives and conservation studios. Here we research, develop and refine new content for the galleries.

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Marion Thring – First Female Guide-Lecturer at the V&A

By Nicholas Smith, Archivist.For the V&A Archive’s contribution to International Women’s Month, I have chosen to profile Marion Thring, the first full-time female guide-lecturer at the V&A.

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Spring is here! Time to enjoy the V&A’s Garden

By James Sutton, Records and Archives Assistant, V&A Archive.The John Madejski Garden is an oasis in the centre of the Museum and now that Spring is here again we’ll be able to step out of the galleries and enjoy the courtyard garden to the full.

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Johns Hopkins University students visit the V&A Archive

Last September Dr Earle Havens from Johns Hopkins University approached me about the V&A Archive hosting a group of eight undergraduate students as part of their Museums and Society Programme visit to London. The V&A Archive is visited regularly by individual researchers from overseas, who study our unique and irreplaceable documents for a range of […]

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Victoria and Albert Museum Archives join the V&A Network Blog

Did you know that Henry Cole (1808-1882), the V&A’s first director, started his professional career as an archivist – ‘sub-commissioner’ was his actual job title – in the Records Commission (the forerunner of the National Archives)?

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Plaster cast of the Bruges Madonna by Michelangelo

From the Captain of a Dutch Corsair to a Victorian Art Referee

When I have a spare moment, I try and go to our Blythe road premises, to do some research on the Cast Courts in the V&A Archives. Ahead of my visits, my colleagues James Sutton and Nicholas Smith have helpfully been digging information about the building of the Cast Courts, the acquisition of the objects, […]

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Archives

Alicia Markova in La Chatte and the petty cash receipt in her own hand for her shoes for this ballet The Archival case has been dismantled. This was the last material taken out of its case. It was fun putting this together and although some visitors moved past it quickly others poured over the documents fascinated. The documents ranged from the first contract for Hilda Munnings (about to become Munningsova and later Lydia Sokolova), together with a letter from her father as in 1913 she was underage to sign a legal document, through to a petty cash receipt for Alicia …

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Ooh, Shiny

One of the fascinating things about design drawings, at least to me, is that you often can’t tell whether they are for presentation, for working out a design concept, or just recording an object once it’s finished. Sometimes, perhaps, there is a bit of all three going on. The confusion really sets in when you see aesthetic touches on what you would otherwise expect to be a ‘working sketch.’ For whose benefit has the drawing been prettied up? Maybe the draftsman was taking pride in the work. Maybe there was an internal politics in play, where the designer wants the …

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