Development of the William and Judith Bollinger Jewellery Gallery, 2008
In 2008, the V&A's jewellery gallery reopened after complete renovation made possible by a substantial donation from Mr and Mrs William Bollinger. An endowment was provided by Mr and Mrs Bollinger to maintain the gallery to the highest standard.
The displays offered the visitor a short tour of masterpieces and a detailed chronological survey of jewellery in Europe. Aided by videos of manufacturing techniques and interactives revealing the hidden secrets of jewels, the gallery provided an introduction to the meaning and the making of jewellery.
Over 3000 jewels told the story of jewellery in Europe from Ancient Greece to the present, from a great gold Celtic breastplate to medieval love rings and pendants given by Elizabeth I to her courtiers, from diamond dress ornaments made for Catherine the Great to an emerald necklace presented by Napoleon, from cut-steel buckles and enamelled watches to diamond tiaras and jewellery in paper, acrylic and titanium, from jewels by the leading jewellery houses of Paris, London and New York to animals by Fabergé and jewellery by an international selection of contemporary makers. The gallery explored how jewels have been not only at the centre of fashion, but of the deepest human emotions.
The gallery designer was Eva Jiricna Architects Ltd. Working with a team of specialist consultants, educators, conservators and curators. Eva Jiricna Architects also designed the sculpture gallery, room 111, the sculpture galleries, rooms 22-24, the main shop, Grand Entrance doors and information desk, and the major temporary exhibition, Modernism.
This development was completed as part of FuturePlan
FuturePlan is transforming the V&A by revitalising visitor facilities and redisplaying the collections. Using the best architects and designers, we are bringing the V&A into the 21st century and restoring modern design and innovation to the heart of the museum.