Victoria & Albert Museum Visit: History of the Theatre and Performance Collections

0 Posted by - April 5, 2012 - Diary

I take day trips to London quite often for art and design exhibitions. I’m very thankful for the short flight distance.

I may not use the inspiration straight away. Sometimes I remember one i’ve seen a while back and pull out the pictures for my mood board.

I recently visited the V&A and by chance visited the History of the Theatre and Performance Collections. I wasn’t expecting the detail they would go into.

“The collections were founded in the 1920s when a private collector, Gabrielle Enthoven, donated her extensive collection of theatrical designs, memorabilia, books and photographs to the Museum. She continued to add to her collection and worked on it as a museum volunteer until her death in 1950. Since that period the collection has continued to grow and has provided a home for many other significant objects and archives.”

As listed on their website, it includes;

  • Architectural plans
  • Business archives and personal papers
  • Ceramics
  • Costumes and accessories
  • Designs
  • Legal documents, account books
  • Paintings and drawings
  • Posters
  • Printed books
  • Manuscripts, promptbooks and letters
  • Periodicals
  • Prints
  • Properties (props) and other tree-dimensional objects
  • Puppets
  • Scenic cloths
  • Song sheets
  • Stage machinery and equipment
  • Set models and model theatres
  • Theatre programmes and reviews
  • Tickets and tokens
  • Tinsel prints
  • Video and audio recordings, including the National Video Archive of Performance – unique recordings of UK stage shows made by the Museum’s video unit

My favourite area was the costume area. The range of headpieces were imaginative.

I loved the champagne hat. Great for serving at parties.

The travelling wardrobe of the always glamorous Kylie. Note the sheepskin covering her chair which goes with her on all of her tours. Her sister also left a lipstick message on her mirror. I just wanted to step through and try everything on.

These costumes prove the back is just as important as the front.

Some showstopping stage costumes.

I couldn’t resist taking photos of these. The first is the famous Prince Charming outfit worn by Adam Ant. And the second is a studded velour jumpsuit worn by Mick Jagger.

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