Tag: conservation

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Mattering: Richard Redgrave and the curious practice of drawing on museum objects

Detail of Condition Report: encountering the museum-object, Simon Fleury, 2016.

Simon Fleury, Senior Preservation Conservator ‘Delicate things become objects late on: That is what they have in common with numerous seemingly self-evident things that only mature to the point of conspicuity once they are lost.’1 Richard Redgrave, the first curator of the South Kensington Museum (SKM) as the Victoria & Albert Museum was then known, […]

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Introducing…The Leman Album

The Leman album, an enhanced facsimile, is one of the V&A Research Institute’s (VARI)first ‘named’ projects. Containing some 97 vibrantly coloured designs for woven silk by the second-generation Huguenot émigré, James Leman (b.1688), the designs were produced between 1706 and 1716.   They are the earliest known dated designs for woven silk and at some stage in their lifetime were […]

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Under the skin of the Spirit of Gaiety – Part 4

Head and bust of the Spirit of Gaiety during its conservation treatment

  This series of blog entries is about the scientific examination of the gold finish of the Spirit of Gaiety, the angel which once graced the dome of the Gaiety Theatre in London. Raman analysis Over the past few weeks I have been looking at the thick golden paint the covers the Spirit of Gaiety […]

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Guest Post: Michelangelo’s David – Part 3: Constructing a full-scale model

Lead sculptor smoothing finish surface coat of plaster. Image courtesy of the 20th Century Fox

Author Chris Seagers is an Art Director and Production Designer who recently collaborated with Ridley Scott on Alien: Covenant (2017). In the Alien: Covenant script, director Ridley Scott wanted to create a prologue sequence. This would be an engagement between a synthetic (Michael Fassbender) and his maker (Guy Pearce) in a philosophical conversation ‘if you […]

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Michelangelo’s David – Part 1: Creating virtual copies of casts

Plaster figure of Michelangelo's David (Mus.no. Repro.161-1857) during scanning at the Weston Cast Court Gallery. Image ©Plowman Craven

I often receive enquiries about the V&A’s plaster cast of Michelangelo’s David (Mus.no. 161-1857), which I have been researching since I cleaned and conserved it between 2013-14. Last year I received an unusual request for a 3D scan of the cast so a 1:1 physical model could be generated and used as a featured prop […]

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Lustrous Surfaces collaborative conservation project

Mr Yang working on mother-of-pearl replacements

Dana Melchar, Senior Furniture Conservator Currently, the Victoria & Albert Museum is preparing for an exciting display opening on 1 October 2017 entitled ‘Lustrous Surfaces: Lacquer in Asia and Beyond’. The display will focus on Asian lacquer and lacquer-inspired European objects within our permanent collection and will include objects made in Burma, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, […]

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Under the Skin of the Spirit of Gaiety – Part 3

Figure 1: The Spirit of Gaiety (S.2630-1996)

  This series of blog entries is about the scientific examination of the gold finish of the Spirit of Gaiety, the angel which once graced the dome of the Gaiety Theatre in London.   Elemental analysis* In my last blog I showed you what the layer structure of the Spirit of Gaiety looks like under […]

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Culture in Crisis

Photograph of an arch and colonnade, Palmyra, Syria

‘Culture has moved to the front-line of wars and conflicts, both as collateral damage and as a direct target. When armed conflict, intentional destruction and looting damage or destroy cultural heritage, peace and security are simultaneously threatened.  Efforts to curb this scourge include elevating the importance of culture, heritage and identity through dialogue and education, […]

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Back to the Future: revisiting Richard Redgrave’s condition reports

The case and van transporting the Raphael Cartoons from Hampton Court to South Kensington in May 1865. Photo: Anon. (Museum No. 44413)

Clair Battisson, Senior Preservation Conservator Louise Egan, Condition Report Liaison There have been several previous articles and comment made on what is thought to have been an early use of a photographic image in checking and monitoring the condition of an object at the Victoria & Albert Museum (formerly known as the South Kensington Museum). […]

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Preparation of three 14th century gravestones for a display at the National Museum of Oman

Shaykh Mohammad’s gravestone (Mus. number A.5-1932) © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

A while ago, I was asked to assess the condition of three 14th century gravestones, which have since travelled to a newly built National Museum of Oman in Muscat. The gravestones are beautiful in themselves, but they also tell a very interesting story about trade in the Indian Ocean. They were carved at Khambhat in Gujarat from […]

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