Ice Ice Baby

Digital Media
February 19, 2014

Have you been gripped by all of the recent Winter Olympics action? We thought we’d honour the incredible achievements of the athletes over in Sochi by picking out some objects in our collections that feature winter sports. It’s time to get our skates on, and we’re going to start off by looking at all things icy.

Let’s begin with hockey

Brussels Hockey Club, ladies' training 'le dribbling', photograph, Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles, 1907. Museum no. E.3490-2004. ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles

OK, Edwardian ladies practicing their dribbling skills in an snowy field is perhaps not technically ice hockey, but photographer Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles was a pioneer of sports photography.

Maybe this print by Swiss artist Lill Tschudi is more suitable

Ice Hockey, print, Lill Tschudi, 1933. Museum no. CIRC.163-1933. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Ice hockey is certainly action packed, but for edge of your seat tension, there are few more exciting disciplines than speed skating.

Short Track Speed Skating, poster, Elise Thomason, about 2006. Museum no. E.419-2007. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The museum has many Olympic posters in its collections, including this example from Sarajevo 1984, designed by Andy Warhol.

Speed skater, poster, Adny Warhol, about 1983. Museum no. E.3185-2007. © Victoria and Albert Museum.

The most glamorous Olympic ice event has to be the figure skating. While you marvel at the spectacular lutzes, axels and salchows, your eye can’t help but be drawn to the fabulously ornamental outfits.

These designs are for costumes that were used in an ice show in the 1970s.

Costume design, Anthony Holland, 1972. Museum no. S.711-2000. ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London/The estate of Anthony Holland.

Costume design, Anthony Holland, 1972. Museum no. S.712-2000. ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London/The estate of Anthony Holland

Those headdresses are perhaps a little too decorative for Olympic skating success.

About the author

Digital Media
February 19, 2014

Former Content Editor in the Digital Media department. I love finding interesting stories and unusual objects hidden in the V&A Collections. I blog about all things digital media, with the...

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