Tag: collections

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Personal favourites: from a previous volunteer’s point of view

Nef Gilbert Collection

The article below was written by Alexander Morrison who volunteered with us for two months last year and helped us greatly with our travelling exhibitions programme. Alex graduated from Manchester University with a BA in History Of Art, and is about to start an MA in Russian History of Art at the Courtauld Institute. Although his […]

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Here be Dragons

244:3, Leaf from choir-book with initial S in red pen-work on green and blue ground depicting a dragon. Netherland. late 12th century, © V&A Museum.

When we think of the Middle Ages we often imagine a world full of knights, castles and, of course, dragons. Sightings of dragons appear periodically in medieval chronicles such as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of AD.793 which mentions ‘dreadful fore-warnings…whirlwinds, and fiery dragons flying across the firmament”. This 15th century illustrated version of Pliny’s ‘Natural History’ […]

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Searching for Don Quixote in the NAL

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

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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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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The V&A Spelunker

Wallpapers on the V&A Spelunker

Hello, and a Happy New Year to you! I’m George Oates, director of a small London design firm called Good, Form & Spectacle. As part of our ongoing research practice, we’ve made a new toy to help you explore the wondrous Victoria and Albert Museum’s catalogue, the V&A Spelunker. Thank you very much to Kati […]

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Modern markets for traditional techniques

Shop front of Merchant & Mills store in Rye

Indian textiles have long held great appeal to European consumers; so much so that in the 17th Century the Indian textile industry were seen as a direct threat to British textile manufacture.  This resulted in the ban of textile imports from India and in turn gave rise to a lively trade in smuggled chintz.  Since […]

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Making Connections

Casket with saints and other figures, carved ivory on wood, painted and gilt, possibly Sicily or Southern Italy, c.1100-1200. Museum no. 603-1902 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

As a student at the Courtauld Institute of Art my perception of the V&A’s collections is often shaped by my art historical studies. Over the last couple of years I have experienced the museum both as a student and as a volunteer. I have been volunteering as a Welcoming Ambassador at the V&A for a […]

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All work and no play makes the museum a dull place?

Crookes Radiometer, Image by Lina Hakim

by Grace Bremner   “[W]e learn by interacting with bits of the world even when our words for how these bits work are inadequate.” -Davis Baird   All work and no play makes the museum a dull place. Or so Lina Hakim would have us believe through her latest seminar in the History of Design […]

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Personal Favourites: installing beautiful creatures

PARROT CUP
Silver-gilt, diamonds
Emden, Germany, ca. 1620
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.59:1,2-2008

This week my colleagues and I installed some extraordinarily beautiful, dazzling, precious pieces from the Gilbert Collection of silver in the V&A Whiteley Silver Galleries as part of the display Personal Favourites: Gold and Silver from the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection. While installation was in full flow, a mother walked along the gallery with […]

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