A history of an OBJECT in 100 worlds

‘A history of an OBJECT in 100 worlds’ is a project that takes inspiration from Neil MacGregor’s landmark project ‘A history of the WORLD in 100 objects’ and turns its premise on its head: it proposes to present 100 different perspectives on a single object instead of 100 objects providing a history of the world, and to therefore get 100 people to talk about a single object instead of having a single person talk about 100 objects.

This blog will track the project’s development, from the organisation of pitch dates at which participants will make a case for their chosen object of focus, through thinking about the implications of the project’s premise and its process, to the potential identification of an object and the commissioning of texts about it.

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10 things we’ve learnt from a history of an OBJECT in 100 worlds

With the last of the Object Pitch Days on the blog, and before the next stage of the project is announced, it seems an opportune moment to take stock of what we’ve already learnt from a history of an OBJECT in 100 worlds… 1.Never ever lend anything to Tony Robinson (aka Baldrick from Blackadder). Ken […]

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Object Pitch Day 8 – 26 November 2014 – Part 2

With only half an hour left, let’s get right back to the action in Seminar Room A. Time was running out on the first stage of a history of the OBJECT in 100 worlds, and with only three pitchers left, we knew lunchtimes at the V&A were about to get a lot more boring. Sob! […]

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Object Pitch Day 8 – 26 November 2014 – Part I

We’d finally made it: the very last Object Pitches for a history of an OBJECT in 100 worlds. Befitting the occasion Bill Sherman was in a ruminative mood, reminding us that “the only rule is time.” And so we settled ourselves for the last lunchtime session, which included yet another member of the Research Department […]

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Object Pitch Day 7 – 19 November 2014

Object Pitch Day 7 began with a high-speed intro from Bill Sherman – by this point we were well drilled in what was going to happen – as we settled down for a packed programme of five pitches that stretched right back to the ancient world and dealt with object types including furniture, embroidery and […]

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Object Pitch Day 6 – Wednesday 30 October 2014

A flurry of last-minute withdrawals meant that Object Pitch Day 6 was less packed than previous sessions. Who can blame the dropouts? As previous days had shown, the competition was certainly fierce and only the best object-based research was going to make the final cut. As today’s knock-out series of pitches showed, that bar was […]

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Object Pitch Day 5 – Friday 10 October – part 2

Let’s pick up where we left off: half way through a packed Object Pitch Day 5. 20 minutes in and four pitches down, we were thoroughly warmed up, ready for yet more fantastic object-led research. It was back to Bill Sherman and his stopwatch…. OP5/05 After the interval, we began with another repeat object, as […]

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Object Pitch Day 5 – Friday 10 October – part 1

By Object Pitch Day 5, we were over half way through the process and edging ever closer to our impossible decision. Our call for V&A staff to make their case for one object above the many had, again, resulted in a packed programme of great objects and even better ideas. (Reflecting the high number of […]

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Object Pitch Day 4 – 1 October 2014

As we settled down for Object Pitch Day 4, we knew the score: it was going to be another hour packed with great objects and great ideas, making the choice of just one object for the project all the more difficult. It was over to Bill Sherman and his stopwatch… OP4/01 Reino Liefkes, senior curator […]

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Object Pitch Day 3 – 16 September 2014

By Object Pitch Day 3 we all knew the rules, and the competition was certainly hotting up. Nine members of V&A staff made their cases for an impressive array of objects, from Katy-Perry-brand false eyelashes to the ironwork cross that once crowned the screen at Salisbury Cathedral. With every pitch as good as the one […]

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Object pitch day 2 – Friday 12 September 2014

‘The Ommeganck in Brussels on 31 May 1615: The Triumph of Archduchess Isabella’ [detail], Denys van Alsloot, Belgium, 1616. Museum no. 5928-1859 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Object pitch day 2 took place on 12 September and was another successful event showcasing a wide range of objects put forward by members of staff and featuring very different reasons for pitching these objects for the ‘A history of an OBJECT in 100 worlds’ project. This was also a very ‘meta’ session including a […]

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