Tag: word and image

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Pancake Day

It’s here. The tastiest, most delicious celebration of the year. Pancake Day. Also named ‘Mardi Gras,’ ‘Fat Tuesday,’ and ‘Shrove Tuesday,’ this celebration happens the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. As well as reminding us all once a year how much we love pancakes (before we promptly forget they exist until […]

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Paw Prints

The start of Crufts at the end of this week seemed like the perfect excuse to search the Prints, Drawings, and Paintings collection for a selection of works featuring the nation’s most popular pet. Sadly, I couldn’t find any images of dogs playing flyball or competing in heelwork to music (doggy dancing, that is), but I’m […]

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Jumping on the Bandwagon

If any proof were needed about the evocative power of music then I’d be hard pressed to think of a better example than Handel’s Zadok the Priest. Is it possible to hear the swell of the music, the rousing trumpets and the powerful harmony of  voices rising in triumphant celebration without anticipating the drama and […]

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Happy Birthday Honoré!

Today we celebrate the birthday of the lithographer Honoré Daumier, born on 26th February, 1808. A staunch republican, he produced over 4000 lithographs in his lifetime, chronicling, commenting on, and, most importantly, sartirising the tumultuous nineteenth century French politics and society he lived and worked through. His exposure to four different political regimes, namely the […]

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Under the Sea

Inspired by a visit to the London Aquarium, I recently spent a pleasurable hour trawling through the Factory, looking at the fish in our collection. Aside from offering endless pun possibilities, fish have significance in all cultures. They act as food and economy for many river and coastal towns, are the basis for one of […]

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London Fashion Week

Since the inaugural show in 1984, London Fashion Week has been one of the premier occasions on the fashion calendar. This bi-annual event is the second of the ‘Big 4’ fashion shows, following New York, and preceding Milan and Paris. From the 14th-18th of February, the finest British designers, including Mulberry, Matthew Williamson and Peter […]

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Victorian Valentines

Are you looking forward to Valentine’s Day? I ask because this is one of the few holidays the mention of which is as likely to be met with a snort of derision as a sigh of anticipation. As Valentine’s Day is often accused of being a so-called ‘Hallmark holiday’, invented (or at least perpetuated) by […]

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Bookplates

Bookplates, also called ex libris, have been pasted to the inside front covers of books since the advent of the printing press in the mid-fifteenth century. Though they were also used in public libraries, I find these small printed works most interesting when they are used by individuals to assert ownership over their prized works […]

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Getting to Know You: National Art Library Reader Survey

The National Art Library is freely available to anyone who wants to use its resources: other than the need to show some identification, all are welcome without restriction. Generally speaking, our users are students, academics, art market professionals and the V&A’s staff but every day brings new faces to the reading rooms. So, how does […]

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Religious Ceremonies of the World

In a previous post I explained how we have been holding workshops with external specialists. These enable us to draw from a broad spectrum of expertise when focussing on specific areas of the galleries and their development. We recently held another of these workshops, this time focusing on a significant work that was first published […]

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