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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

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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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End of the Big Dig!

New basement spaces supporting the Exhibition Gallery above

We are pleased to announce that bulk excavation on the Exhibition Road Building site is now finished, after nearly 4 months of non-stop digging! While there are some areas still requiring minor excavation work, over 22,000 cubic metres of soil has been removed from site. The spaces for the new exhibitions gallery, feature staircase and back […]

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From Animal Products to Christian Dior: Opening the Drawer on a V&A/BGC Student Placement

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A guest post from Rebecca Sadtler, this year’s Bard Graduate Center MA Student Placement.   There are few things more exciting to a young fashion historian than opening an unassuming drawer and uncovering Christian Dior’s famous New Look ‘Bar’ suit tucked inside, or a Balenciaga evening dress of brilliant cerise silk taffeta, or even a […]

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Ducklings in the digital age – and Indian textiles…

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You may or may not be aware that the V&A currently has a family of ducks living in the central courtyard.  Mummy duck, Victoria, and her brood of little ducklings are currently attracting more attention than any single object in the V&A (you can watch them dabbling around here) – perhaps rivalling even the exquisitely crafted and […]

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Getting To The Point Of Medieval Shoes

9019b/1. Cutting from printed book of devotion. Initial O with three  youths and three ladies on a hillside with a town in the distance. Netherland, late 15th century. © V&A Museum

The V&A’s new Shoes exhibition showcases some of the craziest trends in footwear throughout history. One of my favourites is this extremely long-toed Medieval shoe from the Museum of London. In my previous post about ostentatious medieval headdresses I wrote about using manuscripts as a source for images of clothing, so couldn’t resist having a […]

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A Unique Replica: The Wimbledon Ladies Singles Trophy

Temperantia Basin Electrotype

 I have reserved my spot on the sofa on Saturday afternoon as I shall be glued to the tennis. These days, the smart money is always on Serena Williams to be the last woman standing at the conclusion of the Wimbledon Ladies Singles Championships. If she wins this year, it will be the 6th time […]

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Pet Cemetery: Henry Cole, Jim, Tycho and Pickle

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This blog was prompted by an enquiry we received recently about the two commemorative plaques for ‘Jim’ and ‘Tycho’ set into the wall in an obscure corner of the V&A’s John Madejski garden. On Thursday, 30 January 1879, Sir Henry Cole (1808-82), the V&A’s first Director, wrote this poignant entry in his diary: 49 Wilton […]

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Our Private Pinterest Board: The best of our rejected contextual images

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First I’d like to thank the wonderful guest bloggers we had over the past few months who have done a fantastic job of sharing their expertise and insight with us. We hope you’ve been enjoying these blogs posts as well. If so, you’ll be happy to hear we’ve enlisted even more amazing people to post in […]

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The art and craft of shoes

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I thought it was important to give shoe designers and shoe makers a voice, to let them talk about their visions and craft in the exhibition Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, and not only have their end products on show. How do you make shoes? How do you come up with new ideas for shape and […]

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