Paragone in Eighteenth-Century England

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on November 12, 2009

From the Henry Moore Institute’s website:

Subject/Sitter/Maker: Portraits from an Eighteenth-Century Artistic Circle
Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, 15 August — 14 November 2010


Andrea Soldi, "Louis François Roubiliac at Work on a Bust of David Garrick," 1757 (Garrick Club)

This small exhibition sets up close comparisons between the painted and the sculpted portraits of the actor David Garrick and the sculptor Louis François Roubiliac, asking us how we measure likeness, and how we understand the concept of the professional homage, as one artist depicts another.

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In The Observer (23 August 2009), Rachel Cooke writes that the exhibition

is truly a pint-sized show in the sense that it can be seen in less time than it would take you to drink one: it consists, in fact, of just two paintings, two sculptures and one monochrome print. . . [It] prods at the respective merits of sculpture and painting, and their sometimes vexed relationship, by looking at likenesses of the actor, manager and patron of the arts David Garrick and the sculptor who made him his subject more than once, Louis-François Roubiliac. . .  A bust of Garrick attributed to Roubiliac is the third piece in Subject/Sitter/Maker . . . Garrick’s face is noble looking, but it also has a varnished quality, one you cannot blame on its media (plaster and paint) alone. He looks so blank, and so still: like a drink, waiting to be poured. But then you remind yourself that he was an actor – the great impersonator – and you begin to wonder whether this lacquered effect was not very deliberate. Next to this bust is a portrait by Andrea Soldi of Roubiliac at work on it. Look at this, and at JW Cook’s print, after Adrien Carpentiers, of Roubiliac modelling a small statue of Shakespeare, and you become doubly convinced. For sure, these are stagey works, Roubiliac’s cuffs artfully unbuttoned and peeled back so as not to impede his progress; and we know that the Shakespeare terracotta on which he is depicted to be working was completed four years earlier. But there is such beadiness in his eyes, such energy in his forearms, and he looks so hungry – though perhaps it was the case that he was actually famished, as well as creatively so: while Garrick grew ever more rich and famous, buying himself a Robert Adam house with grounds by Capability Brown, poor old Roubiliac died penniless. Even in the 18th century, ticket sales were obviously more reliable than the cheques of wealthy men.

Call for Papers: French History & Civilization

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on November 11, 2009

Please note the following CFP for the Rudé seminar in 2010. As a member of the organising committee, I am interested in increasing the number of art historical and visual culture papers at the conference. There is always some participation from scholars in the field, but it would be good to have more. I encourage colleagues working on French topics to submit proposals. If you would like more information, please write to me.

Julie Plax

17th George Rudé Seminar in French History and Civilization
University of Sydney, 14-16 July 2010

Proposals due by 1 December 2009

Every two years, the George Rudé Seminar brings together specialists in French history and other areas of French studies from Australia and New Zealand with colleagues from around the world for a major conference.  A selection of papers from the biannual conferences is now published in peer-reviewed format on H-France. The 2010 Rudé Seminar will be held at the University of Sydney. Among the featured guests will be Professor Olivier Wieviorka from the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Cachan), author of numerous works on twentieth-century French history. The general theme of the 2010 Seminar is History and Memory. However, paper proposals are invited on any area of French history, or on subjects in other areas of French studies with an historical perspective.  In general, speakers will have twenty minutes for delivery, and papers may be presented in either English or French. If speakers are interested in their papers being considered for publication, they should be ready to submit a complete version of their texts (of 8000 words maximum) at the time of the conference.

The registration form with payment details and other information can be downloaded here. This is the second call for papers.  Proposals should include a tentative title, a one-paragraph summary of the paper, a one-paragraph biographical note on the speaker and full contact details.  They should be addressed by 1 December 2009 to: rude.2010@usyd.edu.au. Please also send your contact details if you would like to be put on the mailing list. The organising committee for the Rudé Seminar includes Robert Aldrich, Liz Rechniewski, Jennifer Milam, Julie-Anne Plax, Briony Neilson, Margaret Sankey, Glenda Sluga, and Bronwyn Winter.

Site Logistics

Posted in site information by Editor on November 11, 2009

Editor’s Note

October was another record-breaking month for HECAA’s Enfilade, with over 2600 individual visitors and 243 visits from return readers. Both numbers are important. The former points to the site’s ability to attract an ever-widening audience while the latter suggests the degree to which there’s a genuine match between visitors’ interests and the site’s content (it’s encouraging to see continued increases in both numbers). For HECAA members, this means there is a substantial audience for your submissions. So by all means, send in announcements and updates on your work!

ampreis_neuEarlier this week, Enfilade was honored with an Amadeus Award from the Official Weblog of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart! Blogs set in the twenty-first century are all well and good, but the potential for historical figures’ uses of digital formats is especially intriguing. One can, for instance, now follow John Quincy Adams on Twitter. I know of no eighteenth-century artists or collectors with equivalent sites, though it’s easy to imagine such a thing (please send in links if you know of any examples). Danke schön, Herr Mozart!

Finally, I’ve included below excerpts from a message from the Great Minds at WordPress.com, the platform on which Enfilade is built. The memo underscores their committment to adapting WordPress sites to viewers’ patterns of use, including mobile devices such as the iPhone and Blackberry (in fact, Enfilade now looks terrific on the former). Thanks again to everyone for reading.

Craig Hanson

New smartphones do a great job with most web sites, but older phones have many problems and may not display anything at all. Today we’re launching a couple of mobile themes that will automatically be displayed when your blog is accessed with a compatible mobile phone. The first theme is a modification of WPtouch and will be displayed to phones with modern web browsers like those on the iPhone and Android phones. The second theme was developed from an older version of the WordPress Mobile Edition and will be displayed to all other mobile devices. Mobile visitors greeted by WPtouch will get easy access to posts, pages, and archives. They’ll get fancy AJAX commenting and post loading. . . .  When viewing your blog on other phones, the focus will be on loading the blog quickly while displaying the important information about your content.

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An Eighteenth-Century Collection in Leipzig

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on November 10, 2009

From the website of the Museum der Bildenden Künste:

Spuren: Die Sammlung Gottfried Winckler
Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig, 3 September — 10 November 2009


Anton Graff, "Carl Gottfried Winckler," 1769

Die bedeutendste Leipziger Kunstsammlung des 18. Jahrhunderts war die von Gottfried Winckler d. J. (1731–1795). Als der Kaufmann Winckler 1795 starb umfasste sein „Kabinett“ ca. 1.300 Gemälde, 2.469 Handzeichnungen, 80.000 Kupferstiche, eine Bibliothek von 6.842 Bänden und eine beachtliche Anzahl von Gemmen.

Es gehört zu den Zufällen der Geschichte, dass der Großteil von Wincklers Sammlung sich in seinem Elternhaus in der Katharinenstraße 22 aufbewahrt wurde, an der Stelle, an der sich heute das Museum der bildenden Künste befindet. Nach Wincklers Tod wurde die Sammlung von seinen drei Söhnen versteigert und damit in alle Winde zerstreut.

Die Rekonstruktion der verschwunden Sammlung ist ein Puzzlespiel. In Leipzig ist nur wenig geblieben: Durch einige „vorzüglich gute“ Stücke – etwas über zwei Dutzend Gemälde – konnte zum Beispiel Maximilian Speck von Sternburg seine Sammlung vermehren. Dennoch gehört Gottfried Winckler zu den Großen in der Kulturgeschichte der Stadt, über den Goethe schrieb, dass er die „einsichtsvolle Freude, die er an seinen Schätzen hegte, sehr gern mit Anderen teilte“. Die Ausstellung wird unterstützt durch die Maximilian Speck von Sternburg Stiftung und ist ein Beitrag zum 600-jährigen Jubiläum der Universität Leipzig.

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For additional information, see this news story on the exhibition (also in German).

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Everyday Objects Symposium

Posted in conferences (to attend), Member News by Editor on November 10, 2009

Everyday Objects: Art and Experience in Early Modern Europe
Courtauld Institute Inaugural Early Modern Symposium, London, 21 November 2009

Through a focus on the everyday object, this one-day symposium explores both the experience of visual culture in everyday life and the phenomenon of the everyday in visual culture. Drawing on theories of the everyday from such fields as anthropology, phenomenology and sociology, papers will examine the seemingly banal things that formed the culture of daily life, asking: what constitutes an everyday object? How were everyday objects experienced, represented or collected? And how does their study enhance our understanding of the cultural history of early modernity?

Papers by established and emerging scholars will explore the theme of the everyday object in a variety of media, including sculpture, painting, dress, furniture and the graphic arts. Presentations will investigate ephemeral objects, quotidian spaces and habitual activities — from the social rituals of marriage, food consumption and waste disposal, to overlooked ‘things’ like taxidermy, miniature furniture and clothing accessories.

Organised by Edward Payne and Hannah Williams. To book a place, please send a cheque for £15 (£10 students) made payable to ‘Courtauld Institute of Art’ to Research Forum Events Co-ordinator, Research Forum, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN — clearly stating that you wish to book for the Everyday Objects Conference. For credit card bookings, call 020 7848 2785/2909. For further information, send an email to ResearchForumEvents@courtauld.ac.uk, or visit the Institute’s website.

Introduction – Edward Payne & Hannah Williams

Session 1 – Chair: Edward Payne

  • Samuel Bibby (University College London), “The Triumph of the Everyday: Sculpture, Marriage, and Memory in Fifteenth-Century Florence”
  • Joanna Woodall (The Courtauld Institute of Art), “Laying the Table. The Procedures of Still-life”

Session 2 – Chair: Hannah Williams

  • Katie Scott (The Courtauld Institute of Art), “Cochin’s Handkerchiefs”
  • Ariane Fennetaux (Université Paris-Diderot), “What’s in a Pocket? The Contribution of Material Culture to the Cultural and Social History of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Britain”

Session 3 – Chair: David Solkin

  • Paula Radisich (Whittier College), “Theorizing ‘Things’ in French Genre Painting of the 1740s”
  • Melinda Rabb (Brown University), “Mimesis Reconsidered: Everyday Objects in Miniature”

Session 4 – Chair: Sheila McTighe

  • Beth Fowkes Tobin (Arizona State University), “Women, Decorative Arts, and Taxidermy”
  • Olivia Fryman (Kingston University and Historic Royal Palaces), “‘Necessary Stooles’ and Necessary Women: Dealing with Royal Dirt, 1660-1714”

New: Journal of Art Historiography

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on November 9, 2009

The Journal of Art Historiography, supported by the Institute for Art History at the University of Glasgow, will publish its first issue on 31st December 2009 and will appear every six months thereafter. As described on the journal’s website:

This journal exists to support and promote the study of the history of art historical writing. Much of this practice has been shaped by traditions inaugurated by Giorgio Vasari, Winckelmann and German academics of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Consequent to the expansion of universities, museums and galleries, the field has evolved to include areas outside of its traditional boundaries.

There is a double danger that contemporary scholarship will forget its earlier legacy and that it will neglect the urgency and rigour with which those early debates were conducted. The earlier legacy remains embedded in ‘normal’ practice. More recent art history also stands in need of its own scrutiny. The journal is committed to studying art historical scholarship, in its institutional and conceptual foundations, from the past to the present day in all areas and all periods.

This journal will ignore the disciplinary boundaries imposed by the Anglophone expression ‘art history’ and allow and encourage the full range of enquiry that encompassed the visual arts in its broadest sense as well as topics now falling within archaeology, anthropology, ethnography and other specialist disciplines and approaches. It will welcome contributions from young and established scholars and is aimed at building an expanded audience for what has hitherto been a much specialised topic of investigation.

Besides articles, the journal will accept notes, reviews, letters and translations. It will be published every June and December and include both peer-reviewed and commissioned contributions. The editor, Professor Richard Woodfield, invites submissions from interested scholars. Email: richard.woodfield@ntlworld.com

Listening to Furniture

Posted in books, Member News, reviews by Editor on November 8, 2009

Recently added to caa.reviews:

Dena Goodman and Kathryn Norberg, eds., Furnishing the Eighteenth Century: What Furniture Can Tell Us about the European and American Past (New York: Routledge, 2007), 272 pages, $69.95 (9780415949538)

Reviewed by Stacey Sloboda, Assistant Professor of Art History, Southern Illinois University; posted 4 November 2009.

norberg_furnishing_eighteenth_centuryIn a conceptually wide-reaching and useful introduction to “Furnishing the Eighteenth Century: What Furniture Can Tell Us about the European and American Past,” editors Dena Goodman and Kathryn Norberg ask, “Can the settee speak?” (2). That this question remains relatively novel suggests the importance of the book. Their answer, of course, is affirmative; and the twelve essays that constitute this collection provide ample new, thoughtful, and frequently surprising revelations about what exactly eighteenth-century furniture said to a broad range of makers, users, and audiences. Written by scholars in the fields of history, literary studies, and art history, the essays are methodologically diverse yet unified by an interest in the social and cultural uses and meanings of objects and interiors in the eighteenth century. . . .

In a revelatory essay that should become standard reading for students of eighteenth-century French visual and material culture, “The Joy of Sets: The Uses of Seriality in the French Interior,” Mimi Hellman explores multiple reasons why sets, serial designs, and matching objects became characteristic features of the eighteenth-century French interior. Deftly weaving formal, cultural, and historical approaches to specific objects, Hellman deploys a wide range of theoretical insights, from anthropology to psychoanalysis, to argue that, “serial design was a crucial site for the enactment of elite self-fashioning, an eloquent representational system that elicited performances of social mastery” (147). Furthering the concept of signifying objects, Mary Salzman’s careful analysis of Jean-François de Troy’s pendant paintings “The Garter” and “The Declaration of Love” (1724) argues that decorative objects in de Troy’s paintings constitute a form of visual rhetoric that communicated with savvy viewers for whom judgment was an important critical activity. . . .

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Sloboda, Hellman, and Salzman are all HECAA members. For CAA members, the entire review can be found here»

Painting in Eighteenth-Century Constantinople

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on November 7, 2009

As noted on the website for CODART: Dutch and Flemish Art in Museums Worldwide:

Jean Baptiste Vanmour: A Painter from Valenciennes in Constantinople
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Valenciennes, 3 October 2009 – 7 February 2010

Curated by Emmanuelle Delapierre


Vanmour, "Grand Vizier Nevsehirli Damat Ibrahim Pasa" (Rijksmuseum)

Jean Baptiste Vanmour (1671-1737) was born in Valenciennes but moved to Constantinople in 1699, where he would live and work for the rest of his life. In Constantinople he painted cityscapes and daily life in the city. He portrayed famous Ottomans such as Sultan Ahmed III and his grand vizier Nevsehirli Damat Ibrahim Pasa. Furthermore, he recorded important ceremonies at the sultan’s court.

From the museum website: 03-05-2009:

Jean Baptiste Vanmour et Valenciennes

Jean Baptiste Vanmour naît à Valenciennes le 9 janvier 1671. Les archives municipales conservent son acte de naissance, ainsi que la trace de sa famille relevée lors du recensement des habitants de la ville en 1699. L’emplacement de la maison natale de Vanmour est également bien connu. Son père et son frère sont comme lui artistes: le premier est ébéniste, le second peintre. Jean Baptiste et son frère reçoivent leur première formation artistique aux Académies de la Ville, célèbres pour la qualité de leur enseignement. Mais à la différence de son frère, Jean Baptiste ne peut pas rester à Valenciennes, faute des autorisations nécessaire pour exercer son métier de peintre, délivrées par la puissante Guilde de Saint-Luc. Contraint par un procès que lui intente la Guilde à quitter la ville, l’artiste part d’abord à Paris, puis à Constantinople, sans doute à l’invitation de l’ambassadeur de France, M. de Ferriol.

Scènes de vie en Turquie au XVIIIe siècle

Arrivé à Constantinople autour de 1699, Jean Baptiste Vanmour y mourra le 22 janvier 1737, sans jamais revenir dans son pays natal. Dans cette contrée d’adoption qui est désormais la sienne, il peint des vues panoramiques des rives du Bosphore, des scènes de la vie quotidienne – rentrée des classes, mariages – et représente encore les principales communautés étrangères de la ville, Arméniens, Grecs, Français, Hongrois… Il nous livre ainsi une témoignage rare de la vie du chaque jour, dans cette cité ô combien cosmopolite. Mieux, il pénètre les rituels de la Cour du Sultan, nous offrants les portraits de Ahmed III, de son Grand Vizir, des plus grands dignitaires, recevant à l’occasion de somptueuses réceptions les ambassadeurs venus d’Europe. Enfin, au-déla des temps protocolaires, Vanmour pénètre encore pour nous le secret des harems ou des repas des Derviches.

L’atelier d’un peintre

Les oeuvres de Jean Baptiste Vanmour consistent essentiellement en de petits tableaux – paysages, portraits, grandes réceptions ou épisodes de la vie quotidienne- peints à l’huile avec un abondance de détails pittoresques. Soigneusement composées, ces scènes étaient souvent préparées par des dessins rehausées de craie blanche et de sanguine. Cette attention n’était certainement pas superflue, de nombreuses commandes émanant des ambassadeurs européens. Jean Baptiste Vanmour répomd à leur souhaits grâce à l’aide de son atelier. Le peintre est assisté de nombreux disciples, originaires de la cité ottomane, qui participent pleinement à la création des tableaux signés par la maître. Aux oeuvres attestées de Jean Baptiste Vanmour Vanmour s’ajoutent ainsi celles produites avec ou par son atelier, mais encore de nombreuses copies plus tardives. Grâce à des photographies de tableaux en cours de restauration, à des radiographies, à des diagrammes, l’exposition du musée de Valenciennes s’attachera pour la première fois à donner les clés d’identification des oeuvres de Vanmour.

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An exhibition dedicated to Vanmour appeared in 2003 and 2004 at the Topkapi Sarayi Müzesi in Istanbul and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. For details of the previous show, including the exhibition catalogue, click here»

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Wanted: Essays for an Edited Volume on Historiography

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on November 6, 2009

Call for Submissions: Historiography in the Enlightenment
Proposals due by 15 December 2009

This work will be an account of Enlightenment historical writing with particular attention to its philosophical and political significance.  The work has been commissioned by Brill (Leiden) for its series on historiography (Historiography in the Middle Ages has already appeared; volumes on historiography in the Renaissance and the Early-modern period are forthcoming). We project a work of around fifteen 20-30-page chapters. Around half the chapters will be devoted to central figures, while the other half will be devoted to themes.

Authors are invited to submit proposals for chapters on any of the following writers: Gibbon, Hume, Robertson, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Herder, and Vico. Authors are equally invited to submit proposals for chapters on the following themes:

  • Enlightenment self-understanding as a historical period
  • Biblical criticism
  • ‘Historicism’ and its relationship to Enlightenment
  • The political deployment of the ancients
  • Natural law and history
  • Stadial theories of history
  • History in national contexts (a survey)

Proposals for chapters on themes or authors other than those listed are also welcome. The work will be a survey of some central uses of history during the Enlightenment, with particular attention to the political significance of historiography. Our intention is neither to have a dry, encyclopaedic tome, nor to have a pastiche of unrelated articles, but rather to offer a coherent volume of articles contributing original argument on a sufficiently general level so as to accessible to non-specialists and graduate students but also of sufficient originality to be compelling for specialists.

Chapter proposals should contain an abstract of 200-250 words. Authors are also requested to submit a C.V. The deadline for the submission of proposals is 15 December 2009. Authors will then be selected. The book will be published in English, but submissions in German or French are also welcome (we will provide translations).

Dr. Robert Sparling
School of Political Studies
University of Ottawa

Small Exhibitions Now at the V&A

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on November 5, 2009

From the V&A’s website:

Europe and the English Baroque: English Architecture 1660-1715
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 1 May — 9 November 2009


Model for Easton Neston, Northamptonshire, Nicholas Hawksmoor, ca. 1694

Centred on the RIBA’s recently acquired model of Nicholas Hawksmoor’s baroque jewel Easton Neston (1694), this display will look at how continental buildings influenced architecture in Britain between the Restoration in 1660 and the publication in 1715 of the first volume of Colen Campbell’s Vitruvius Britannicus (often taken as the symbolic opening of the Palladian revival). The influence was mostly through the medium of books and engravings as few English architects travelled abroad (exceptions were Christopher Wren, Roger Pratt and William Winde, and, at the beginning of the period, Balthasar Gerbier); consequently there was surprisingly little knowledge of continental architecture gained at first hand, and some of the translations from engraved plate to English buildings could be very surprising.

The display will contain architectural drawings by such luminaries as Christopher Wren, Nicholas Hawksmoor, William Talman and John Vanbrugh, taken partly from the RIBA’s own collection and augmented by loans from a number of British institutions including All Souls, the Queen’s College, Oxford, King’s College, Cambridge, Sir John Soane’s Museum and other institutional and private collections. The display is curated by Roger White and Charles Hind.

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Objects of Luxury: French Porcelain of the Eighteenth Century
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 18 September 2009 — March 2010


Sugar basin and cover, Saint-Cloud, ca. 1700-20 (V&A: no. 487-1909)

During the eighteenth century France dazzled the rest of Europe through the brilliance of its court. The rich and fashionable lived in a world of unparalleled refinement, fuelling an insatiable market for luxury goods. However, the eighteenth century was also a time of intense scientific enquiry and innovative research which witnessed, throughout Europe, marvellous achievements in this sphere. One of the most exciting discoveries, after centuries of wonder and captivation, was the successful production of porcelain. Known as ‘white gold’, porcelain was produced for use in all aspects of fashionable public and private life; from banquets to boudoirs, from tea drinking to the toilette.

In the absence of known deposits of kaolin (the key ingredient in making true, or ‘hard-paste’, porcelain), a glassy-bodied, artificial, or ‘soft-paste’, porcelain had been produced in France since the end of the 17th century. It was more costly to make than the ‘hard paste’ but its sensuous charm soon earned it universal admiration. Its soft, easily fusible, wax-like glaze allowed colours to fuse deep within it, and its lower firing temperature allowed the use of a much broader range of colours. Of all the factories in France, the most renowned was the Royal Porcelain Manufacture at Sèvres. The protection of Louis XV and the patronage of his mistress, Madame de Pompadour, drew to Sèvres the best alchemists, designers and artists in Europe. The porcelain they produced was unequalled in quality, design and decoration. This display introduces the visitor to the major French factories and demonstrates the wide variety of objects they could provide for their fashionable clientele.

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An 18th-Century Enigma: Paul de Lamerie and the Maynard Master
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 11 May 2009 — May 2010


The Maynard Dish, 1736–37 (V&A: on loan from the Cahn family foundation)

Paul de Lamerie (1688-1751) was the greatest silversmith working in England in the 18th century. A Huguenot (French Protestant), he came to London with his parents, fleeing persecution in France. His success lay in his own exceptional creativity in producing stunning objects, but also in his ability as a businessman, retailing some astonishingly spectacular silver using the most effective and innovative suppliers in the trade.

The silver shown here is associated with de Lamerie’s most brilliant craftsman, whose identity is still a mystery, who worked from 1737 to 1745. He is known as the Maynard Master, named after the dish made for Grey, 5th Baron Maynard now in the Cahn family collection. Other masterpieces marked by de Lamerie are from the collection of Sir Arthur Gilbert and this display celebrates the opening of the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries at the V&A in 2009.

For more information about the V&A’s collection of silver by Paul de Lamerie, visit the Paul de Lamerie pages on the website. From there you can also download and print a trail to bring with you to the V&A, to help you find the highlights of the de Lamerie permanent collection across the galleries.

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