Tag: behind the scenes

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Dirt off your shoulder…

Close up on dust

One of the great challenges in museums is keeping the collection clean once it’s on display – dust & dirt are our number one enemy! This isn’t a new problem either, as far back as the mid 1800’s museum professionals have been worried about what the local environmental conditions were doing to their collections. Michael […]

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The Tower of Babel – behind the scenes

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The Tower of Babel – behind the scenes Exciting times the samples are done and we are now in full production. The original models are made from plaster.  A block mould is made of these and tests are cast in bone china. After all the samples have been signed off, a mould of the original mould is […]

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To the left, to the left: Installation Part 2

Florence pushing a trolley of objects through the gallery

Can a display exist without objects? (One of the big philosophical questions of our time). I think not. So with the cases clean, loan objects condition checked and labels installed, we were ready to embark on the most exciting part of the process: installing the objects! This involved lots of trips back and forth from […]

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Stepladders, Spode and a Squeegee: Installation Part 1

Curator Rebecca Wallis stands on a stepladder cleaning the wall case

The time has come to install the Blue and White display! Last week we said goodbye to the previous Gallery 146 show of Simon Carroll’s work, which has now been shipped off to the Ruthin Craft Centre in Wales. This has left the gallery empty and ready for us to start creating a mesmerising world […]

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Mini post No. 10 – How to scare the intern…

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Though my university training and this internship I have come accustomed to handling museum objects, and for the most part I’m perfectly comfortable doing this – except when it comes to the ceramics study galleries. I’ve always loved those new galleries but they have always scared me a little – something about densely packed fragile […]

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No Country for Old Dolls?

Still from the Small Stories trailer (C)V&A Museum, London

GUEST POST: Lauren vonBechmann gives the background to our new Small Stories trailer. One of our main aims of Small Stories is to bring each dolls’ house to life, and what better way to do that with a film? With the help of Peter Kelleher, V&A’s Motion Media Manager, aka filmmaker, we were able approach […]

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The Curious Collage: an 18th century dolls’ house

The final display. (C) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

One of the most exciting parts of redisplaying the dolls’ house gallery has been reviving the so-called ‘18th century room setting’. This intriguing group of furniture, cutlery and kitchenware, wooden panels and dolls has been around since 1877, when it was bought for £20 from a Staffordshire woman called Mrs Thornhill. There are many treasures […]

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Exploratory surgery on the cast of Michelangelo’s David

The cast of Michelangelo’s David, REPRO.1857-161, showing sampling locations

Being Italian, I always felt secretly chuffed when I passed by the V&A Cast Courts and saw the plaster replica of Michelangelo’s David standing there: who better than him could watch over other reproductions of medieval and Renaissance masterpieces from the Bel Paese? Imagine then how thrilled I was when I was asked to perform […]

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Save the Wolsey Angels – Director’s Circle exclusive object handling session

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Focus On… The Wolsey Angels and Early 16th – Century Sculpture Director’s Circle members were given an exclusive object handling session exploring the art-historical context of the Wolsey Angels. Members joined Director, Martin Roth, and the Keeper of Sculpture, Metalwork, ceramics and Glass, Paul Williamson at this unique behind-the-scenes event to understand the Angels in […]

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Mini Post No. 9 – Sometimes we get things wrong!

The Darwin image under the XRF machine head. (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Let me begin with a little confession – while we like to think of ourselves as immune to them, sometimes we make silly mistakes. This happened most recently when we began the XRF analysis of some Julia Margaret Cameron photographs to see if the images had been tinted with other elements like gold. Many of […]

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