The Devil wears…..

V&A Museum
March 13, 2010

well today it’s a pair of jeans, socks and tee-shirt recycled from the growing pile of discarded outfits worn during installation this week.  All had passed what I call ‘the sniff test’ much to the disgust of the husband. 

Things didn’t go quite according to plan this week, with one or two hairy moments.  The lovely Claire said I had started to develop the ‘Prichard Twitch’, reminiscent of Meryl Streep in said movie.  I did consider asking the team to call me ‘Marm’, but decided that might have been a step too far. 

I hit my emotional moment on Thursday with the installation of Priscilla Redding’s diary.  Placing the tiny pocket book on its support mount, next to the exquisite silk cot quilt suddenly became too much.  Technicians and lighting crew tactfully turned aside as I wept silent tears for a woman I had never met but whose personal possessions were now placed within a display case.  These cherished belongings have come to mean so much to me- objects of emotion that transcend time and place and will of course be the focus of so much attention during the course of the exhibition.

The prodigal daughter arrived home from university last night – determined to work at home until the opening.  She tumbled into my bed this morning with live-in daughter, who has taken on the role of ‘Dobby – the house elf’ over the last 18 months.  As they expressed their excitement about the exhibition, they also told me how much they looked forward to getting their mother back.  As they continued to talk about their plans for the day I reflected on the moment.  I have spent the last two weeks installing some of the most amazing quilts and coverlets – from exotic chintz bed hangings to superbly stitched wholecloths.  We have tried to uncover as many hidden histories and untold stories as we can yet ultimately we may never really know what took place under those covers.  I can only hope they contain as many happy memories as my own humble quilt.

About the author

V&A Museum
March 13, 2010

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