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And additional note with very important information regarding the cos of beer in 1948

Time capsules, finding the unexpected in buildings and objects. Part 1

One of the benefits of working in old buildings is that they often conceal secrets that are just waiting to be discovered. Before joining the V&A, I used to work at St Paul’s Cathedral, one of the world’s most iconic buildings and filled with glorious art. In the Cathedral’s crypt, I found a fascinating object […]

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V&A Concrete Christmas Bowling Tournament

V&A Concrete Christmas Bowling Tournament

Over the past couple of months I have been devising a bowling game to be played on the Exhibition Road building site. This game took place last Friday on December 19th, and was contested between two teams. One team made from V&A staff the other from the builders working on site, the hoardings around the […]

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What’s going on in Exhibition Road?

Have you walked down Exhibition Road recently and wondered exactly what is going on at the V&A? Why is there a forest of machines towering above the old buildings? The answer is that the V&A is undertaking the biggest building project at the site for over 100 years – and it will completely transform how […]

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David's left eye

David revealed!

One of the most significant works of art in the Victoria and Albert Museum is the plaster cast of Michelangelo’s David (Repro.1856-161) by Clemente Papi (1803-1875). David has recently received an enormous amount of worldwide media attention around the removal of the protective shroud that he has worn while the Cast Courts have been renovated. […]

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This one please!

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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crop2

Selecting Furniture & Sculpture Part II

 Continuing on from the previous post … Sculpture The V&A’s sculpture collection is designated the National Collection of Sculpture. It concentrates on Western European Sculpture from the 4th century to the end of the 19th century and comprises of approximately 22,000 objects intotal. Highlights of the collection include masterpieces from the Italian Renaissance, ivory carvings of all […]

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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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This engraving forms the title page of a volume. It depicts an ancient stone, with a cameo portrait of Giovanni Battista Piranesi in the centre. The portrait is a copy of a self-portrait by Piranesi, copied by his son for this volume. There are Roman engravings both above and below the cameo. Underneath the stone there are several classical motifs, including an armoured soldier, a city plan of Rome, and Roman vases. VA E.3958-1908

Born on This Day: Giovanni Battista Piranesi

In the late-18th and early-19th centuries, increased travel and archaeological discoveries, at sites such as Pompeii and Herculaneum in Italy, led to a revival of interest in ancient and classical decoration. The work of architect and printmaker Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) helped to pioneer this rediscovery of Roman remains and he was one of the […]

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Portrait of François Boucher, reception piece by Gustaf Lundberg for the Académie Royale de Peinture presented on January 28, 1741. Musée du Louvre

Born on this Day: François Boucher

Having caught the autumnal lurgy which seems to be making its way around the city at the moment, I was off work yesterday. This meant that I’ve been pipped to the post by the V&A’s Facebook page in marking the birthday of the French court painter, draughtsman and etcher François Boucher. I’ve refrained from changing […]

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