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Too Petite for Petite: Mounting a 19th Century Corset for Undressed

Marking out the position of the breasts using coloured pins

Costume mounting is the topsy-turvy task of making a mannequin fit a particular object, a job that can often make you feel more like plastic surgeon than a museum employee, as the following post explains… First up on the Undressed costume mounting schedule is this charming cotton corset dating from 1825-35. Don’t be deceived by its […]

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Introducing the Textile Conservation and Mounting team

A silk dressing gown from 1875 (T.193-1984) being assessed © V&A Collection

Hello from the Textile Conservation and Mounting team. If you followed the “Wedding Dress” and “Fabric of India” blogs then you will have met some of us before and you will know all about the Textile Conservation Section here at the V&A. For The “Undressed” Exhibition we have one Textile Conservator, Albertina Cogram, who is […]

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Tate conference: media in transition


With the courtesy of the V&A learning department, I went to the three-day conference at the Tate; Media in Transition, hosted by The Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Research Institute and Tate. After the 2008’s Tate conference, ‘Object in Transition‘, this conference seems like the 2nd stage of Tate’s conference on preservation and conservation of art practices, focusing on […]

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Media in Transition

Just spent a really exciting few days at the Tate, courtesy of the V&A, learning a great deal about both the exhibition and conservation of video, at the Media in Transition conference. Having worked in video for over a decade I felt I knew a lot about the medium, but being able to see a series of different […]

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The curious case of the Tibetan skull drum

Detail showing an area of missing decoration © Johanna Puisto Victoria and Albert Museum, London

I was recently asked to work on a very unusual object, which was a 19th century Tibetan drum, made of human skulls. The drum was about to travel to the Wellcome Collection’s exhibition titled; ‘Tibet’s Secret Temple; Body, Mind and Meditation in Tantric Buddhism’. It was highly exciting to work on this loan as His […]

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Our Favourite Things: Final Edition


  Tomorrow we finally officially open our doors. The process of developing and installing The Fabric of India has been challenging: a true feat of research, conservation, and logistical engineering. But it has also been inspiring. Beyond the magic of the objects themselves, the dedication of all the staff involved in putting up this show has […]

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An iridescent flash of green

IM.89-1930. Green jewels catching the light (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Here in Paper Conservation one of my tasks is mounting some objects from the South and South-East Asia Collections. While preparing to mount some of these items I noticed some unusually bright green jewels in three paintings. Since I had to check these works under the microscope anyway to make sure the paint was stable, […]

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Gold, lacquer and mirrors: a figure of the Buddha from Burma

The mask was carved separately and then held in place with nails.

By Adriana Francescutto and Victor Borges, Sculpture Conservation. Here in the sculpture conservation studio, we have recently begun the treatment of an 18th to early 19th century standing figure of the Buddha. It came originally from the Kyaik Than Lan pagoda in Moulmein, Burma. It depicts the Buddha standing on a lotus bud, in a […]

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Slippery Sari Sagas and Delightful Draping


Here in Textile Conservation we are just over half way through mounting the garments for display in The Fabric of India. A few weeks ago, our studio was all a-flurry with the unwrapping of mannequins and the speedy draping of a collection of stunning and vibrant contemporary saris for publication photography. That was by no […]

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Guest Post: Conservation Close-up


Annika Amundson is a student placement in the V&A Textile Conservation Studio, a part of her MPhil course at the Centre for Textile Conservation, University of Glasgow. This week she tells us about the conservation of an embroidered child’s dress in preparation for its display in The Fabric of India. This child’s dress will be […]

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