The last episode of the series!
The last week of Secrets of the Museum, a unique look at the V&A over the last year, aired yesterday, and so we have the last round up of things you might like to explore if you’ve already seen the programme.
First up was the All Will Be Well exhibition, which featured a group of rainbows made by children during the pandemic. To see more from the exhibition (and some of the stories from the children involved), try this short film.
Curator Kristian also wrote about the display, and you can read that here – his post was part of the Pandemic Objects series, which explores how objects have taken on new meanings and purposes over the last year.
Next up is a painting from Thailand. Scientist Lucia Burgio was looking for answers about how the painting was made – and when. Her research into the presence of Pigment Green 8 is published here.
As the Theatre and Performance team get ready for the refresh of the galleries, the programme turned to building the mannequins. Lara Flecker carefully mounted the Follies costume, working to make the pose realistic – and you can see more of the work of the Conservation Display Specialists here. When the costumes came into the collection, they were accompanied by Vicki Mortimer’s designs for them – which provide a fascinating insight into their development (and a wonderful short browse…).
The story of the Portland Vase, part of the V&A Wedgwood Collection, is one of trial and error (and eventual success). Josiah Wedgwood spent four years matching the subtlety of the glass original (now in the British Museum). In 1789 he showed his first perfected copy to the painter Sir Joshua Reynolds, who authenticated it as a ‘correct and faithful imitation’, but you can get an idea of the endeavour by looking through the trials for the finished version on Explore the Collections.
And you might be interested in this film showing other highlights from the ceramics collection: