Tag: conservation

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Contents of two houses temporarily packed to travel to South Kensington.

They say moving house is one of the most stressful things you’ll ever do…

…If that’s the case then we’ve certainly been ambitious with our Small Stories exhibition, which involves moving 12 houses not just around the Museum but around the world for an international tour! But aren’t dolls’ houses much smaller and less complicated to move than the contents of a real home? How hard can it be? Sarah […]

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Constable’s Quill

Did Constable use a steel nibbed pen? a reed, or a quill for his ink drawings? Sometimes, preparing the prints, drawings and paintings for an exhibition gives us a good opportunity to start to ponder these kinds of questions… Looking at the back of Constable’s Study of Poppies (Paintings Conservation interns, Arabella and Morgan talked about this work in our […]

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Nanjing here I come!

Well the Chinese visa has been obtained, eventually, and all flights/accommodation booked. I am off on Friday 19th September. So, who am I? I am Susan Catcher, Senior Paper Conservator at the museum and have been lucky enough to been given money (Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust and the Anna Plowden Trust) to complete a trip to attend the IIC Conference […]

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Steel buttons: Coup de Bouton, etching by William Humphrey, c. 1777. Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University

The Brown Suit: Coup de Bouton!

In my last post I mentioned how ‘Anglomania’ influenced the adoption of darker colours for men’s daytime clothing among the middle and upper classes in late 18th-century France. This move towards a more somber palette brought about a dependency on buttons to create the maximum sartorial impact. A basic rule often seeming to be ‘the […]

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One of the 1st Laptops used in the conservation science section of the museum - A Toshiba t1600

Mini Post No.8 – Ghosts of Logos past

As part of my internship I have been repeating and expanding on some of the experiments into cleaning that they did during the POPART project. One part has been repeating experiments on real-world objects that have a surface texture – more on that in a later post though! The unusual object I’ve been using to […]

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Dress, designed by Madeline Vionnet, 1937. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Conservation of a Vionnet Dress

This beautiful dress was designed by Madeline Vionnet in 1937 and was given to the V&A in 1968 by Cecil Beaton. It will be on display in the Horst: Photographer of Style exhibition, due to open in September 2014. The dress will be one of 9 other examples of French couture from the 1930s, reflecting […]

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Resource Planning at the V&A Museum

The V&A is an ambitious and inquisitive organization. It produces blockbuster exhibitions, like last year’s David Bowie Is and the forthcoming Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty  and has an exciting range of contemporary events as part of its monthly Friday Lates. Aside from its Public Programme of exhibitions and displays the V&A is also involved in […]

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Newly photographed, following the completion of conservation work © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Grotesque Faces

When visiting the Metalwork Conservation studios the other week I came across this familiar face in the midst of treatment. It is a gilt-bronze ‘mask’ which will feature in our display about the influence of Louis XIV’s court on European art and design. Referring to it just as a mask is perhaps slightly misleading as, measuring […]

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T.399&a-1974 Elsa Schiaparelli, Dress and Jacket with gilt embroidery mounted for ‘Horst Photographer of Style’ on a full figure Proportion Ltd mannequin.

Style Never Goes Out of Fashion

The photographs in the exhibition will be supplemented by a selection of 9 ensembles showcasing the work of designers that collaborated with Horst. These include some of the most prominent and influential fashion designers of the 1930s, such as Elsa Schiaparelli, Coco Chanel and Madeleine Vionnet. For the 9 exquisite ensembles, some of which have […]

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Apron worn to de-install The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014. Photograph © Sadie Hough, 2014

Pockets of Glamour

As the last vestiges of Italian glamour are obscured by tissue and Tyvek, and packed away ready for the first venue of an American tour, I am reminded of the role that clothing plays in getting a job done. At the V&A, the periods in which exhibitions are installed and then eventually taken down are characterised by increased […]

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