Tag: conservation

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Painting like Constable

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Having prepared some Constable style paper boards with Sophie Connor a little while back (read about it here), I faced the daunting prospect of trying to paint like Constable. To try to make this a bit easier I based my sketch on a painting by Constable that I had recently examined, Buildings on Rising Ground near […]

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Painting by Numbers?: An 18th Century Flower Show

Ferdinand Bauer, Iris Germanicus, watercolour on paper (MS. Sherard 245/70) © Bodleian Library, University of Oxford 2015

As the Chelsea Flower Show draws to a conclusion tomorrow, and the masses return to their own gardens inspired, it’s worth looking back to the 18th century, to the golden age of botanical exploration and to an artist who was arguably the finest botanical painter in history – Ferdinand Bauer –  and how expertise at […]

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A Room with a View

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Back in February, after months (really years) of preparation, the V&A formally announced The Fabric of India to the press. Rosemary and Divia spoke with a number of journalists about all the spectacular objects that will be in the show – from Tipu Sultan’s 18th century tent to Manish Arora’s latest designs.  But one piece in particular got maybe […]

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Making a ‘Constable’

Applying the red-brown oil ground. You can already see how the paper is absorbing the oil where there is no sizing.

  This week I’ve been working with Clare, the Senior Paintings Conservator, to make some Constable-style pasteboards (sheets of paper glued together) for a display to go in the Paintings gallery. After several weeks of reading up on it (for example in the essays referenced here), looking at examples of Constable’s works on paper, and […]

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Lighting up the Studio

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Last week a colleague mysteriously encouraged me to pop my head into the Photo Studio, for a ‘nice surprise’. Not knowing quite what to expect, I arrived to find Metalwork Curator Kirstin and Senior Metals Conservator Donna in the final stages of assembling the rather stunning chandelier which will be part of our Louis XIV display. To enable […]

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All that glitters…

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  Sparkly gold embroidery (zardozi) has, to be honest, never been my favourite kind of Indian textile. But during the selection process of pieces for The Fabric of India I have surprised myself by developing a soft spot for other kinds of textile involving metal or metal-wrapped thread, and indeed for the metal materials themselves.   Many of […]

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In the Thick of It

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What a month it has been! To all who missed a blog post last week, we can only apologise. We were all simply swamped! Over the past few weeks we’ve been working hard to complete the first draft of the exhibition label text, sort layout issues, make final changes to the book design, and take […]

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Dirt off your shoulder…

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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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Time capsules, finding the unexpected in buildings and objects. Part 2

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The secret parcel and other discoveries from the Weston Cast Court. In my previous post I described some of the surprising items we found in the museum’s Medieval & Renaissance and British Sculpture galleries. The things that we found were type of messages from the past left by the people who worked in the museum […]

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Installation Mode!

Sketch of mounting proposal for Hermes saddle

Final preparations for the upcoming exhibition What is Luxury? are in full swing now as we rapidly approach the start of the exhibition build. Here’s a sneak peek behind the scenes at some of the activities the team has been involved in over the past couple of months. Graphics Title signage is the first thing […]

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