Lunchtime Lecture: British West Indies: Luxury, Identity and the “New World”

This talk is part of the V&A Academy Lunchtime Lecture Series. No booking is required.

+44 (0)20 7942 2000
  • Thursday, 23 May 2024

  • V&A South Kensington

    Cromwell Road
    London, SW7 2RL

  • The Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre

  • Free event

Lunchtime Lecture: British West  Indies: Luxury, Identity and the “New World” photo

Join Joy Johnson as we seek to explore luxurious items patronised by the wealthy which symbolised the identity of the New World, the “Americas” during the 18th & 19th centuries. For example, hawksbill turtles’ shells readily available in Jamaica were used to make turtle shell wig combs, fashionable hair combs and cosmetic cases by local craftsmen in Port Royal. Port Royal was one of the richest of English colonial cities, considered only comparable with Boston, Massachusetts, in America during the formative years of English Colonial History.

Joy Johnson, works voluntarily at the V&A in London as an African Heritage Guide in the V&A European Gallery 1600 – 1815 examining the African presence in European Art. Joy also holds a master’s degree in modern history with a special interest in Europe and the British Empire. She is former Secretary to a local London based Charity PHASCA which served as an agent of positive change in the lives of residents that delivered projects in improving health, education, and well-being programmes for elders. Her motto for life "The only lasting beauty, is beauty of the heart!, so live fully!"

Header image: Tortoiseshell comb case and two combs, engraved, Port Royal, Jamaica, dated 1673, probably made by Paul Bennett© Victoria and Albert Museum, London