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James Leman’s glorious palette – Part 1

Figure 1: The Leman Album (E.1861-1991) © Victoria and Albert Museum.

This series of blog entries describes the scientific analysis of pigments and dyes used on the Leman Album designs. The Leman Album is a collection of stunningly colourful early 18th century designs for woven silk textiles created by James Leman (Figure 1). It was chosen in 2016 to be the focus of a multidisciplinary research […]

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Illustrating the Process is a Process

Museum Outside the Box illustration by Eileen Budd

One of my responsibilities as Project Manager for VARI, is tracking and documenting the progress of our projects.  I’m a big fan of the classics for this; spreadsheets and report writing, but its always struck me there are some things these methods miss out on. We often talk about projects as if they are clockwork objects, you simply look […]

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Introducing…The Leman Album

The Leman album, an enhanced facsimile, is one of the V&A Research Institute’s (VARI)first ‘named’ projects. Containing some 97 vibrantly coloured designs for woven silk by the second-generation Huguenot émigré, James Leman (b.1688), the designs were produced between 1706 and 1716.   They are the earliest known dated designs for woven silk and at some stage in their lifetime were […]

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New VARI international residency opportunity in partnership with Create London

  The V&A Research Institute (VARI) and Create London are seeking nominations for a four-month residency based at Create’s The White House in Dagenham’s Becontree Estate in East London between October 2017 and January 2018. Nominations can be for contemporary artists, makers and designers of any age and nationality based outside of the United Kingdom. Nominators […]

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Windowdressing with Palladio the VARI way

This May, in collaboration with Royal College of Art / V&A History of Design students, VARI Visiting Professor Guido Beltramini curated a rotating microexhibition in the window of his office, drawn from the RIBA/V&A collections.  ‘Palladio Drawing of the Week’ was seen by all the visitors to the Research Department at the V&A — the […]

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The Influence of the Archive: The Afterlives of Palladio’s Drawings

VARI and V&A+RIBA joined forces for an Architecture Partnership Workshop with VARI Visiting Professor, Guido Beltramini.  Guido Beltramini, Director of the Centro Internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio, is one of the world’s leading expert in Palladio. During his time with VARI, he will be working on a complete catalogue of the architect’s drawings […]

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VARI Professors Beltramini and De Visscher

VARI Visiting Professor Guido Beltramini (left) explains his ‘fake Palladio’ drawing to VARI Visiting Professor Eric de Visscher in the open plan area of the V&A Research Department.  Beltramini had devised the fake drawing as a device to tune the eye of postgraduate students studying the RIBA/V&A collection of Palladio drawings during his five-day May […]

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New open call for nominations & applications: VARI Embedded Residency for practitioners working with data

Flight Patterns, 2005 – 2009, Aaron Koblin The Victoria & Albert Museum Research Institute (VARI) is inviting nominations and applications for a yearlong embedded residency at the Museum for practitioners working with data as their medium. The appointed resident will be based at the V&A South Kensington’s Research Department on a part-time basis between October 2017 and […]

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Inaugural Annual VARI Symposium by Karen Morton

VARI Symposium

The Inaugural Annual Symposium of the V&A Research Institute (VARI) featured an impressive range of academics from European institutions, each with a fascinating story to tell of how they go about presenting and using their collections. The packed auditorium heard a uplifting and forward thinking introduction by Dr. Tristram Hunt and for many of us this was […]

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VARI Leman Album project goes micro and gets scattered

The Leman Album project has been receiving some important international guests in the form of the conservation science team of MOLAB — the Mobile Laboratory for in situ non-invasive measurements.  The Leman Album project team made a successful application to the Integrated Platform for the European Research Infrastructure on Cultural Heritage, and the first of […]

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