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The Storming of the Bastille, detail of T.63-1936 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Bastille Day

Today is Bastille Day! Bastille Day (formally called Fête Nationale in France) commemorates one of the most famous events of the French Revolution – the day when Parisian revolutionaries stormed the Bastille on July 14th, 1789. The Bastille was a royal fortress which commanded the eastern side of Paris and was considered to symbolise the monarch’s despotism. The […]

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Curators and technicians discussing the structure of the fountain © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

‘In the middle of the Table was [a] Fountain … ‘

Over the past three days, visitors to the Museum have had the opportunity to have a sneak preview of one of Museum’s great hidden treasures which will be going into the new Europe Galleries. Technicians, conservators and ceramics curators have been working in the Raphael Court, assembling the many parts of our impressive Meissen ceramic table […]

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‘Cooling Off’, photograph, John Heywood, 1982 (V&A B.146-2013) © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

“Can I Have a Taste of Your Ice-cream?”

With the intermittent bouts of hot sun we’ve been having recently, the sight of children (and some adults!) with ice cream smeared across their faces has become an increasingly frequent sight on the streets outside the museum. Ice-cream and sorbets are now a quintessential part of the summer but it may come as a surprise […]

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© Liam O'Connor.

Drawing Demolition

Over the first three months of my residency I have been watching the demolition of the old building occupying the construction site. In the act of demolition, countless new forms have been created from constantly breaking the old building into smaller and smaller pieces. The site has gone from being an object big enough for […]

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‘Triumph of Archduchess Isabella in the Brussels Ommegang of Sunday, 31st May 1615’, oil on canvas, Denys van Alsloot, Southern Netherlands, now Belgium (Brussels), 1616 V&A 5928-1859 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Brussels Ommegang

Tonight will see Brussels’ Grand Place packed with spectators for the annual Ommegang, a centuries-old traditional procession that takes place every July in Brussels, Belgium. Ommegang means ‘walking around’ in Old Flemish. Ommegangen were originally religious processions in which relics or venerated images were carried around a prescribed route to mark a particular holy day.  ‘Ommegang’ came to be […]

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2006AC7414

A reintroduction (and warmed babies)

This is the inaugural post of the new-style Clothworkers’ Centre blog. If you self-identify as a Knitwit or a Fan of Fans (a fanfan), read on, and even if you would not prod a Velveteenage Dirtbag with a stick, you might learn something (although probably not from me). We will use this as a rostrum to announce […]

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Liam talks to the Intoart group about his work related to the Exhibiton Road construction site. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Intoart meets with Liam O’Connor

Last week our Exhibtion Road Drawing Resident, Liam O’Connor, met with a group from Intoart who are currently spending time at the V&A to get inspiration from the collections for their own drawing projects. Some of the group are interested specifically in architecture so it was a great oppurtunity to share ideas and look at […]

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Cleaning the Bohemian quilt © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

A Big Clean – cleaning textile hangings at De Wit, Belgium

This fortnight, we have an entry written for us by guest blogger Katy, one of the Textile Conservators who has been working on objects to be displayed in the new galleries.   The new Europe galleries will showcase some brilliant and beautiful examples of large textile hangings, including tapestry, needlepoint and wool appliqué. Early on in […]

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Detail from 'Witches' Sabbath', oil painting, Frans Francken (II), Antwerp, 1606 V&A Dyce.3 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Please Touch

For many people the primary way for them to acquire information about objects and the world about them is through touch. For others, tactile experiences help to complete their mental image or understanding of an object. 18th century philosophers endorsed the aesthetic value of touch, considering the tactile experience of handling an artwork necessary to […]

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Liam asks “What is your ideal museum design?” & take away your own piece of the V&A

Have you ever thought about what the best design for a museum would be? On Saturday our Exhibition Road Drawing Resident Liam O’Connor asked the children who visited his gallery demonstration how they would design their ideal museum. While the kids got creative Liam chatted with the adults about his work that is being inspired […]

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