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Alfred Edward Chalon, Santini en Ville, ca. 1830. Museum number E.974-1924. © Victoria & Albert Museum.

Surprising Sketches by Alfred Edward Chalon

After moving to England with his family in the late 18th century, the Swiss painter Alfred Edward Chalon quickly made a name for himself as a portraitist. He enrolled in the Royal Academy in 1797, primarily specialising in watercolour portrait miniatures, like this one.                       […]

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This diagram shows how the different archive levels fit together to form the tree.

Structuring the Peter Brook Collection archive tree

Deciding how to structure archives can be quite a challenge. Unlike library and museum cataloguing which deals with individual items, archive cataloguing look at multiple items in relation to each other. It has different levels and they are arranged from general to specific. The lower levels relate to upper levels like a family tree. The […]

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Peter Brook in Afghanistan

Peter Brook – the journey begins

In November 2014, I began to catalogue the Peter Brook Collection. The collection is part of the V&A Theatre and Performance archives and will be stored at Blythe House alongside many of Brook’s friends and collaborators including Paul Scofield, Vivien Leigh, Christopher Fry and Sally Jacobs. Unlike many archives which have come to us in […]

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Falbalas and Fanfreluches part 3: Fantasy

A third instalment of George Barbier’s illustrations from his luxury collector’s magazine Falbalas et Fanfreluches. This time, the theme is theatricality and general over-the-top extravagance. The images will speak for themselves!            

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Out On Display #10: Because We Must

          Costumes for Because We Must Designed by Leigh Bowery Made by Mr. Pearl London, crewel work & appliqué, 1987 S.101 & 102-2010 On display in room 105   For maverick gay artist, costume designer, club promoter and poseur, Leigh Bowery (1961-1994), fashion and clothing were an integral part of his […]

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Out On Display #7: Gluck

          Leonide Massine Waiting for his Cue Gluck (Hannah Gluckstein) England, oil on canvas, 1925 Given by British Theatre Museum Association S.83-1986 On display in room 104A   Born into a wealthy Jewish family, Hannah Gluckstein (1895-1978) defied conventional roles expected of young women of her class and time.   Family […]

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Set design for Victory Over the Sun produced at the Luna Park Theatre, St. Petersburg, 1913. Italian pencil on paper.

When the point of support disappears

“We can only perceive space when we break free from the earth, when the point of support disappears” Malevich, 1928 manifesto, ‘The Non-Objective World’ Malevich and the artists of the Russian Avant-Garde movement re-invented space. Their explorations and experiments in the world of theatre helped them to develop and articulate their artistic visions and ideas. […]

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Peter Brook

Peter Brook at the V&A

V&A Acquires Personal Papers of Britain’s Greatest Living Theatre Director, Peter Brook “The theatre is the last forum where idealism is open to question: many audiences all over the world will answer positively from their own experience that they have seen the face of the invisible through an experience on the stage that transcended their […]

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In Shakespeare’s Shoes – poetry competition winners!

As part of the V&A Shakespeare Festival this year, and in celebration of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth on 23 April, the V&A teamed up with the Poetry Society’s Young Poets Network to launch a poetry competition inspired by Shakespeare. The competition asked writers to imagine what it would be like to step into the […]

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Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier

Vivien Leigh in the Theatre & Performance Galleries

Earlier this year, the V&A acquired the Vivien Leigh archive. This has enabled us to display some of the unique objects from this collection in the Museum’s Theatre & Performance Galleries (103 – 106). Vivien Leigh (1913 – 1967) is one of the most celebrated actors of the 20th century. Born in India and educated […]

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