Tag: Conservation research

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James Leman’s glorious palette – Part 1

Figure 1: The Leman Album (E.1861-1991) © Victoria and Albert Museum.

This series of blog entries describes the scientific analysis of pigments and dyes used on the Leman Album designs. The Leman Album is a collection of stunningly colourful early 18th century designs for woven silk textiles created by James Leman (Figure 1). It was chosen in 2016 to be the focus of a multidisciplinary research […]

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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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A prayer book fit for a king

Figure 1. The Nativity by Jean Bourdichon (1499), E.949-2003 © Victoria and Albert Museum.

What would a medieval king’s prayer book look like? If you search the collections of the V&A you can find a manuscript page which was originally part of the Book of Hours of Louis XII, king of France between 1498 and 1515. This Book of Hours, a type of devotional prayer book popular in medieval […]

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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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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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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 […]

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Under the Skin of the Spirit of Gaiety – Part 1

Figure 1 - The Spirit of Gaiety, Hibbert C. Binney, 1904. Museum no. S.2630-1996.

Many of you may have had a glimpse of the Spirit of Gaiety statue from the Painting Galleries (Figure 1): it is a very large, carved and gilded angel blowing a trumpet, originally designed for the dome of the Gaiety Theatre in London and erected there in 1904 (Figure 2). Although any visitor can view […]

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V&A RCA History of Design Students and the Leman Album

V&A RCA History of Design Corse students take a closer look at the Leman Album

A group of V&A RCA History of Design Students came to visit the Paper Conservation Studio today, to learn more about the designs and also the conservation work behind VARI Leman Album Project. I had my trusty camera on hand to capture the action… All photographs by Eileen Budd, VARI Project Manager.

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The Complex World of Small Things: Part One

 Musings on the materials and techniques of portrait miniatures Contrary to popular belief, small does not equal easy: not in the world of the conservation of portrait miniatures, nor anywhere else, I imagine. The V&A, where I am a senior paper conservator, is the home to the National Collection of portrait miniatures, numbering over 2000, […]

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Guest post: Plaster cast of Michelangelo’s David in the plaster cast workshop of the Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels

PICTURE 1 : David in the Brussels plaster cast workshop ©KMKG-MRAH, Brussels

Nele Strobbe is Head of the Plaster Cast Workshop at the Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels The plaster cast of Michelangelo’s David at the Victoria and Albert Museum has, in addition to his ‘cousin’ in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, another one in Brussels. Currently most of this David […]

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