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#MuseumInstaSwap

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This week we’re joining nine London museums to celebrate each other’s collections through the photo sharing network Instagram. The idea came following an article by the Londonist in May 2015, where the magazine listed ‘The Best London Museums to follow on Instagram’, based on the number of followers. Along with the V&A the museums selected […]

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Getting the feel of The Fabric of India

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With such a strong focus on materials in the first part of the exhibition, we thought it would be a good thing for visitors to be able to feel the different textures of some of the fabrics on show. Clearly this isn’t possible with the actual museum objects, for which there is a strict ‘no […]

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Living the high life in Hackney

Coloured woodcut by an unknown artist, c. 1811. Museum no. E.4766-1923

  This colourful print of a hot-air balloon flight caught my eye while I was cataloguing a collection of prints and drawings relating to Hackney and other East London boroughs. As it happens to be the 204th anniversary of the event depicted, it seemed the perfect opportunity to share the story. James Sadler (1753-1828) was […]

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Haute Sportswear at Paquin, 1905-1950

'Télémark.' Forest-green ski suit with blouson bodice and long trousers, and matching long overcoat. Designed by Ana de Pombo for Paquin, Winter 1935-36.

A common perception of haute couture is that it is about glamorous evening gowns and special occasion day wear. These days, perhaps that isn’t so far off the mark, but there was a time when couturiers produced clothing for almost any occasion that a lady might require special garments for. Some establishments, such as the […]

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Measure twice, cut once

Our best selling exhibition of all time Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty closed this weekend, and whilst our visitor services staff may be secretly relieved to have the museum a little quieter, for the Fabric of India team this is a salutary moment: we are up next…  Our deadlines are no longer articulated by months but by weeks and days, […]

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Pulling out all the stops: Henry Cole and Royal Albert Hall’s Grand Organ

The Royal Albert Hall: The Great Organ, Orchestra, and Chorus

The BBC Proms season is only just underway so it seems somewhat premature to mention the climactic Last Night of the Proms, when the bronze bust of Sir Henry Wood, borrowed for the duration of the concert series from the Royal Academy of Music and set on a plinth immediately before the Royal Albert Hall’s […]

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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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