Tag: conservation

Back to the blog front page

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 […]

Keep reading

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 […]

Keep reading

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, […]

Keep reading

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 […]

Keep reading

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, […]

Keep reading

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). […]

Keep reading

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 […]

Keep reading

Clothworkers’ Fellowship

The author examining carpets in store at Blythe House

Frances Hartog, Senior Textile Conservator In the Victoria & Albert Museum’s collection there is a core of 124 carpets that were on semi-open display for several decades in the Textile Study galleries. Many have a grey cast of surface soiling commonly found on textiles that have been exhibited uncased for several years and will require […]

Keep reading

Conservation of a De Haviland Aviation Drop Tank

The De Haviland Museum Trust have generously loaned an auxiliary aviation ‘drop tank’ – a supplementary fuel tank carried by aircraft.  This object will feature in our forthcoming exhibition Plywood: Material of the Modern World, 15 July – 12 November 2017. Drop tanks were developed to extend the operational capacity of fighter aircraft and bombers. These […]

Keep reading

Under the Skin of the Spirit of Gaiety – Part 2

Figure 1: Three paint samples from the Angel embedded in polyester resin and polished as cross sections.

  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. Optical Microscopy A few days ago I outlined the reasons why we are investigating the gilding of the Gaiety Angel. Here is […]

Keep reading