Secrets of the Museum – 2.3 expanded

Digital Media
August 4, 2021

Episode 3 takes us on another fascinating (and at times, mind-bending) journey behind-the-scenes at the museum.

Let’s head straight down the rabbit hole into the wonderland of our major summer exhibition Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser. Here, curator Kate Bailey has enlisted the help of world-renowned theatre designer Tom Piper to recreate a scene from the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Find out how they get on.

Inside the Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser exhibition. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Elsewhere, following the acquisition of a rare set of Lucian Freud prints, we’re treated to a personal and creative insight into one of the foremost 20th-century portraitists as print curator Gill Saunders meets Freud’s daughter Bella and former assistant David Dawson.

There’s plenty more to discover in our Prints collection which contain more than 500,000 objects and range in date from the 15th century to the present day. Find out how you can also get up close to these objects in our Prints & Drawings Study Room.

More fabulous acquisitions, this time over in the Fashion department, as fashion curator Oriole Cullen reveals two more additions to the collections: a signature dress by famed designer Molly Goddard and ‘that’ cardigan, designed by JW Anderson, and popularised by Harry Styles. Find out more about the cardigan and how you can download the pattern and make your own!

JW Anderson cardigan, S/S 2020, worn by Harry Styles. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Those Beyoncé fans amongst you will recognise Goddard’s hot pink Daria dress as that worn by Beyoncé in her 2020 visual album Black is King. The dress, inspired by baby doll dresses, is exaggerated in scale (61 metres of tulle net fabric!), celebrating the power of femininity. Catch this dress on display at our new V&A East Museum, due to open in 2025.

Photo by Todd-White Art Photography; Molly Goddard, Look 32, LFW AW19. Museum no. T.8-2020. Photographer Ben Broomfield. Image courtesy of Molly Goddard

Over in the textiles gallery, we witness the logistical challenge of moving one of our greatest treasures – the Devonshire Hunting Tapestries. These four very large and beautifully designed tapestries, made between 1430 – 1450, depict hunting scenes of boars, bears, swans, otters, deer and falconry. Follow conservator Frances Hartog as she prepares them for the journey back to their former home at Chatsworth House where they’ll be on loan until 9 January 2022.

Watch Secrets of the Museum: Series 2, Episode 3 on BBC iPlayer

About the author

Digital Media
August 4, 2021

I produce and commission digital things to help tell stories about our collections and programme of exhibitions and displays.

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