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Medieval and Renaissance: Past, Present and Future

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About Glyn Davies

Glyn DaviesBiography

My name is Glyn, and I am a curator in the V&A. My specialist interest is in the arts of the middle ages, but I’ve also worked on the renaissance and on eighteenth and nineteenth-century topics. I was one of the team who developed the V&A’s new Medieval & Renaissance Galleries, and had special responsibility for the suite of medieval spaces. My new role in the Museum is to co-author a catalogue of the gothic ivory carvings, a project that should take three years to complete, and involves over 350 works of art in the collection.

I’ve loved the medieval world ever since I was a child. Growing up in Wales meant that my family often visited the wonderful medieval castles that are dotted all over the Principality. When I got older, and started to develop an interest in art, it was only a matter of time before these two interests merged! I studied History and History of Art at Cambridge, where I was predominantly working with English art of the thirteenth century. My first museum jobs, however, had little to do with medieval art. I was a volunteer at Dove Cottage, the house owned by William Wordsworth in the Lake District, and then I got a job as an archive assistant at the Theatre Museum in London. Later, I worked as a junior curator on the re-display of the V&A’s Silver Galleries.

I spent a few years teaching the history of art and design, and developed an interest in Italian art. I now try and spend some time every year visiting Italy, where it seems that there is always something new to discover. I returned to the V&A to work as the medieval curator on the Concept Team that developed the ideas and structure of the Medieval & Renaissance Galleries, a project that started in 2002 but which only opened to the public in December 2009. With over 2,000 objects, along with a new building and spaces, the gallery was immensely complex to put together. Working on the project was a great privilege, because it allowed me to work across the V&A’s huge collections, studying different media and object types in a way that is unusual in the Museum. I also co-authored the book to accompany the new display.

This blog is intended to help keep people informed about the new galleries and what is happening in them, but it also aims to raise awareness about medieval and Renaissance related subjects in general. A new blog entry will be posted every two-weeks.