Friday, December 04, 2009

Victorian and Albert Museum opens it's new galleries

The Renaissance City Courtyard at the V&A

Victorian & Albert Museum, London UK

The V&A's new Medieval & Renaissance galleries open this December, designed by architects MUMA. The 10 new galleries will showcase its amazing Medieval and Renaissance collections. The £30m new additions fill a whole wing of the museum and contain more than 1800 treasures from AD300 to 1600. The collections chronicle how European art and design changed from the fall of the Roman Empire to the end of the Renaissance era.

The V&A boasts the greatest collection of Italian Renaissance sculpture outside Italy, including pieces by Donatello and Giambologna. The highlights of the new galleries include; Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks, Santa Chiara Chapel: the only example of Florentine Renaissance church architecture outside Italy, Choir screen from the Cathedral of St John at 's-Hertogenbosch (1610–13), the Netherlands, The elaborate Gloucester Candlestick (1104-15), The Symmachi Panel: one of the finest surviving ivories from the Late Antique period in Rome.

The V&A is creating innovative new displays which place objects within their original social and cultural context. In a review for the Daily Telegraph, Richard Dorment describes the exhibition: "The 10 contiguous galleries occupying two floors of that vast building on the Cromwell Road feel like a museum within a museum, where every effort is made to give a feel for a church interior or Renaissance study without turning the galleries into a succession of stage sets."

Mark Jones, Director of the V&A, said: ‘For the first time, these new galleries present the V&A’s medieval and Renaissance treasures as continuous displays telling the story of European art and design from the year 300 to 1600. We hope that the new displays, featuring some of the most beautiful and historic objects from our collections, will inspire all our visitors.’

Above: V&A Curator Kirstin Kennedy


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