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We Wear Culture – a new virtual fashion experience

18th-century Mantua

Clothes are shorthand for being human Claire Wilcox, 2001 From the fusion of fashion with surrealist art to Vivienne Westwood’s anarchic designs – we’ve collaborated with Google Arts and Culture to unlock the world of fashion with a new virtual experience and a host of online exhibitions detailing the incredible stories behind the V&A’s collections, […]

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Guest Post: Michelangelo’s David – Part 3: Constructing a full-scale model

Lead sculptor smoothing finish surface coat of plaster. Image courtesy of the 20th Century Fox

Author Chris Seagers is an Art Director and Production Designer who recently collaborated with Ridley Scott on Alien: Covenant (2017). In the Alien: Covenant script, director Ridley Scott wanted to create a prologue sequence. This would be an engagement between a synthetic (Michael Fassbender) and his maker (Guy Pearce) in a philosophical conversation ‘if you […]

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Guest post: Michelangelo’s David – Part 2: By-product of the movie industry allows for historical investigation of David’s cast

Data being captured with LiDAR laser scanner (foreground) and photography (background). Image Johanna Puisto © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Jonathan Fletcher MRICS is a Technical Specialist at Plowman Craven, UK’s leading specialist chartered surveyors in 3D scanning.   One of the most famous statues in the world is Michelangelo’s depiction of David as he stands poised to face the giant Goliath, armed with the latest technology of his time, a trebuchet sling. Armed with […]

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Michelangelo’s David – Part 1: Creating virtual copies of casts

Plaster figure of Michelangelo's David (Mus.no. Repro.161-1857) during scanning at the Weston Cast Court Gallery. Image ©Plowman Craven

I often receive enquiries about the V&A’s plaster cast of Michelangelo’s David (Mus.no. 161-1857), which I have been researching since I cleaned and conserved it between 2013-14. Last year I received an unusual request for a 3D scan of the cast so a 1:1 physical model could be generated and used as a featured prop […]

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V&A Illustration Awards 2017 Winners Announced

On 16th of May, at a ceremony and private view here at the V&A, the winners of the 2017 V&A Illustration Awards were announced. The winner in each category received a £3,000 cash prize as well as a trophy and a certificate. As overall winner of the 2017 competition, A. Richard Allen is the recipient of the […]

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V&A Illustration Awards 2017 Shortlist

With just over two weeks to go before the winners are announced, the judges of the 2017 V&A Illustration Awards have whittled down the entries from nearly a thousand to just three in each category. On the 16th of May we’ll find out the winners of the awards for:

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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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Inspiring the next generation of designers with the V&A’s DesignLab Nation

The principles of design should form a portion of any permanent system of national education. So recommended the 1836 Select Committee on Arts and their Connection with Manufactures. Sir Henry Cole was even more blunt: “Straight lines are a national want”, he wrote. And, “unless you begin with the child and teach him the ABC […]

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Preparation of three 14th century gravestones for a display at the National Museum of Oman

Shaykh Mohammad’s gravestone (Mus. number A.5-1932) © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

A while ago, I was asked to assess the condition of three 14th century gravestones, which have since travelled to a newly built National Museum of Oman in Muscat. The gravestones are beautiful in themselves, but they also tell a very interesting story about trade in the Indian Ocean. They were carved at Khambhat in Gujarat from […]

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Conservation of a De Haviland Aviation Drop Tank

The De Haviland Museum Trust have generously loaned an auxiliary aviation ‘drop tank’ – a supplementary fuel tank carried by aircraft.  This object will feature in our forthcoming exhibition Plywood: Material of the Modern World, 15 July – 12 November 2017. Drop tanks were developed to extend the operational capacity of fighter aircraft and bombers. These […]

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