Majorie Trusted: These amazing Cast Courts opened in 1873, they were the brainchild of Henry Cole the first director of the South Kensington Museum - which is now know as the V&A. They are 140 years old, they were designed to show copies of monuments, sculptures, architectural details which come from all over Europe and they educated and entertained people.
Sir Paul Ruddock: The Cast Courts create a sense of drama because you see fantastic famous world-class objects up very close indeed, there is this sense of awe and wonder. The Cast Courts is one of the last remaining area which is yet to be fully restored to its glory. I think with the advancement in lighting, restoration techniques, display signage we can bring these things back to life in an extraordinary way. So thats our challenge now.
Majorie Trusted: The renovation for Cast Courts is part of a much bigger project in the museum which we call ‘FuturePlan’ where spaces and galleries are being renovated, redone and generally opened up.
Sir Paul Ruddock: The cast of David gives an opportunity to look closeup at all the magnificence of Michelangelo’s work - which is very difficult to do when you go to Florence. To have a life-size plaster cast of his sitting in the V&A is just wonderful.
Johanna Puisto: David is a centrepiece here in the Cast Courts, he is overlooking all the other casts but he is also a kind of a mystery for a conservator because we do not know that much about his conservation past. This has been an amazing opportunity for us to study the collection in order to understand the technology of the casts and how they were made and why they were made. We started working here roughly around three years ago and we are hoping to finish the East court by the end of 2014.
Majorie Trusted: The whole idea of FuturePlan is to recreate the excitement and the splendour of the Victorian building so that we open up more of the museum and we help people understand the collections better.
Sir Paul Ruddock: For me, one of the things which started me on my journey of falling in love with art and the V&A was probably when i was eight years old being brought here by my parents and that absolutely one of the defining moments in getting me excited about art, museums and architecture.
GALLERY TALK: The Italian Cast Court - Masterpieces in Plaster The Italian Cast Court (then known as one of the two Architectural Courts) was opened to great acclaim in 1873. Last year it was renovated and re-opened once again, and again has been well received by all.
We offer a wide range of tours to meet your group requirements. Whether a group has a special area of interest, wishes to explore a particular gallery or just get an overview of the Museum's collection the Groups Team can help.