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The Brown Suit: Audio Recordings

The other week I found myself in the Textile Conservation studios, a microphone in front of me, contemplating how much sweat may have soaked into a coat. I should quickly make it clear that it wasn’t a coat being worn by a perspiring colleague, but rather a very smart wool coat dating from the 1780s. […]

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Medal Cabinet Appeal – Elizabeth Bisley, Assistant Curator

‘This cabinet is an incredibly important example of Napoleonic design, it tells so many stories about design, craftsmanship, politics and luxury in early nineteenth-century France, and would be an amazing addition to our new European galleries.’ In this series of blogs we’re interviewing various members of staff who come in contact with the Napoleonic Medal […]

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Come Fly With Me

Last week we decided how to make a putto fly. A putto (plural putti) is a figure represented in art as a chubby male child, often nude and sometimes with wings. This particular putto is a statuette made from limewood which was then painted and gilded. He was made in South Germany around 1755-60 and will be featuring in […]

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Pickin’ Up Good Vibrations?

Vibrations may have given the Beach Boys excitations but in a Museum vibrations can give curators and conservators serious concern. The movement of vibrations can put objects at risk of harm and potential damage. Vibrations can be created by a number of things, for example a busy road outside or foot falls on a springy […]

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The Château de Juvisy

Last week Brodie Lyon posted about ‘The Château de Juvisy’ by Pierre-Denis Martin making its journey from Versailles to the V&A [see here]. The painting had been on display at the Palace of Versailles as part of the André Le Nôtre in Perspective 1613 – 2013 exhibition, celebrating the work of the noted landscape gardener, […]

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No Longer for Sale!

Those of you who have passed by the Museum in recent days may have noticed that it is no longer being touted by Messrs Elmgreen and Dragset as a ‘New Residential Development’. Back in October, those artists took advantage of the hoardings covering up building works and used them to display this provocative sign as […]

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Shades of Grey

I have to admit that many of the tasks I most enjoy are those which necessitate bringing together a number of museum objects in the same space. Placed together, objects seem to become more ‘alive’ as their various colours and textures draw out and highlight a range of different qualities in each other. So this […]

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Religious Ceremonies of the World

In a previous post I explained how we have been holding workshops with external specialists. These enable us to draw from a broad spectrum of expertise when focussing on specific areas of the galleries and their development. We recently held another of these workshops, this time focusing on a significant work that was first published […]

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Moving Objects

I was going to start this entry by mentioning how nice it is when going about the Museum to occasionally ‘run into’ Europe Gallery objects as they are being transported between various departments or studios. When leaving my office a few weeks ago I found this rather large frame at the top of our stairs […]

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Drawer Objects

Some of the objects going into the galleries cannot be displayed in the usual display cases, most often because an object is particularly light sensitive. This means that its condition and stability would deteriorate if it was kept on long-term display, exposed to a constant light. To enable some of these sensitive objects to be […]

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