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Selecting Furniture & Sculpture Part III

Suitable for Inclusion? – Some Practical Considerations So you’re a curator with your eye on an extraordinary, dazzling furniture or sculpture object (which perhaps handily belonged to someone famous!) that you would like to include in your galleries. Now you need to consider further practical aspects that might determine whether or not it is suitable […]

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It's a bit of a balancing act! Dog balancing on two chairs on the balcony of 5 Princes Gardens, albumen print, Clementina, Lady Hawarden, London, ca.1861. V&A PH.457:330-1968

Selecting Furniture & Sculpture Part I

Today’s post has been prompted by a comment from Robert Thornhill on a previous entry. Robert asked for more information on how and why choices were made in selecting furniture and sculpture objects for the new galleries. I previously described the overall process of selecting objects back in the early days of the blog, but […]

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2013GV4068

‘little meat and a great deal of cabbage and turnips have driven us out of Würzburg … This 22nd day of October in the year 1716′

Large writing cabinets, such as the impressive example below, were often important indicators of a gentleman’s status in the 18th century. This cabinet is a fine example of the best craftsmanship of the period and its large size and intricate detailing indicates the importance of the person for whom it was made. It also held within it a secret […]

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Eileen Gray screen

Out On Display #2: Eileen Gray, Avant-Garde Designer

Screen Eileen Gray France (Paris), wood with lacquer, c.1928 W.40-1977 On display in room 135   Born into an aristocratic Irish family, the designer and architect Eileen Gray (1878-1976) lived an unconventional life compared to most women of her time and class. Initially training as a paintre, it was Gray’s visit to the Paris Exposition […]

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The upper-body of the suit, shown as it would have been worn with a cravat around the neck.

The Brown Suit: Anglomania

As well as illustrating a svelte figure, this wonderful brown suit also exemplifies staple day-wear fashions for the middle and upper classes in late 18th-century Europe. Its slim-fit, noticeably snug across the upper-body, and the height of the coat collar attest to the owner’s fashionable taste. The breeches reach over the knees and are a tighter fit than […]

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Panamericana (flag 1) version II, 2011 by Alexandre da Cunha, courtesy of the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery

Brazilian Contemporary Event at the V&A – Part 1 Raul Schmidt Felippe Junior

This will be a series of seven videos, each was taken of the speakers at the Brazil Contemporary event that was held on the 21st March 2014 at the V&A. The videos will be released over the course of seven weeks.    Part 1 – Interview with Raul Schmidt Felippe Junior Collector of Brazilian Furniture […]

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Early 20th-century photograph depicting the oak room of Sewerby Hall

Sewerby Hall

From 9 August visitors to Sewerby Hall, Yorkshire, will be able see no fewer than 40 items of furniture on long-term loan from the V&A. This will bring to fruition a five-year collaboration between the V&A and Sewerby Hall. Situated near Bridlington on the East Yorkshire coast, Sewerby Hall was built in the eighteenth century […]

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Elizabeth and the Medal Cabinet

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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Nei and the Medal Cabinet in the Silver Galleries, Level 3

Medal Cabinet Appeal – Neide Gentelini, Gallery Assistant

‘The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design; we can safeguard the cabinet and care for it, not just in the short term but for years to come, and ensure that it is on display for everyone to see.’ In this series of blogs we’re interviewing various members of staff who come […]

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International Archives Day: New Art Furniture exhibition 1901 – an ‘exceedingly vulgar show’

Today is International Archives Day (yes, we have our own day!) so I thought I’d use our archives to illustrate one of the more controversial episodes in the V&A’s otherwise long and distinguished history of object collecting and display. ‘An exceedingly vulgar show’ (The Times) ‘Ill-mannered specimens of upstart art … the delirious art of men […]

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