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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2014 7:23 am    Post subject: Petition for V&A Museum to display their arms & armo         Reply with quote

https://www.change.org/p/the-victoria-albert-museum-display-the-collection-of-european-arms-and-armour

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The Victoria & Albert Museum owns one of the best collections of Renaissance and later European arms and armour in the UK, yet almost all of this collection has now been in storage for over a decade. The museum is large and has several possible spaces to display this important national collection.
If the V&A is not willing or not able to display this important national collection then they should loan a significant portion of it to a museum that is willing and able to display it. Such an important collection should not be kept in storage any longer.
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Neil Melville




Location: Scotland
Joined: 27 Oct 2009

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PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2014 8:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree absolutely with this petition. I have signed and urge everyone who reads this post to do the same. I have long thought it a scandal that the V&A's superb collection is almost entirely in store, no doubt for reasons of 'political correctness' - "nasty things like swords and firearms should be kept hidden from decent people in case they become corrupted".
Neil

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Harry Marinakis




Location: Kingdom of ∆thelmearc
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2014 12:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Have you considered just asking if you can make an appointment to see the collection in the back room?
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2014 2:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harry Marinakis wrote:
Have you considered just asking if you can make an appointment to see the collection in the back room?


Isn't there a larger point here to be considered?

We want the subject of arms and armour to have an audience; to be popularized and get recognition from scholars and enthusiasts alike. We want objects related to arms and armour to be on display for a large audience.

And most importantly, we want the subject of arms and armour to be relieved of the negative perception it has received in recent years due to being "politically incorrect".

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Ryan Renfro




Location: Reno, NV
Joined: 27 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2014 4:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As with most things in life there is a trade-off here. Itís great to have as much as possible out for viewing by the public. The downside is that it becomes less accessible for research as many museums lack the funds and manpower to remove items from display. Hopefully they at least have a long-term plan to rotate the collection on and off of display.

Iíve seen some of the items in storage at the V&A and I was particularly captivated by the chain-hilted rapier: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O97533/rapier-unknown/
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Tyler Jordan





Joined: 15 Mar 2004

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2014 6:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ryan Renfro wrote:
As with most things in life there is a trade-off here. Itís great to have as much as possible out for viewing by the public. The downside is that it becomes less accessible for research as many museums lack the funds and manpower to remove items from display. Hopefully they at least have a long-term plan to rotate the collection on and off of display.

Iíve seen some of the items in storage at the V&A and I was particularly captivated by the chain-hilted rapier: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O97533/rapier-unknown/


Oh my gosh that's beautiful. Not sure how functional it would be, but at that point I don't even care.
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Neil Melville




Location: Scotland
Joined: 27 Oct 2009

Posts: 183

PostPosted: Fri 05 Dec, 2014 10:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harry Marinakis wrote:
Have you considered just asking if you can make an appointment to see the collection in the back room?

There is also the point that an appointment would be made to examine one item or a small related group. But I want to see the whole collection, or at least as much of it as possible - swords, armour and firearms. I cannot imagine the museum allowing me to be supervised by an attendant for several hours, not to mention the labour involved in getting hundreds of items down from shelves and cupboards!
Neil

N Melville
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Harry Marinakis




Location: Kingdom of ∆thelmearc
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PostPosted: Sat 06 Dec, 2014 6:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Neil Melville wrote:
Harry Marinakis wrote:
Have you considered just asking if you can make an appointment to see the collection in the back room?

There is also the point that an appointment would be made to examine one item or a small related group. But I want to see the whole collection, or at least as much of it as possible - swords, armour and firearms. I cannot imagine the museum allowing me to be supervised by an attendant for several hours, not to mention the labour involved in getting hundreds of items down from shelves and cupboards!
Neil

I have had great luck simply asking to see a collection. If the goal is getting the collection on display for the public , then that's a different matter.
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Dec, 2014 11:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's usually in store for a reason.

Space, finances, provenance, etc etc. I struggle to think where anything else could go and if you insist that its all put out then the sculpture, painting, other metalwork,

The description of it having 'one of the best collections' seems a little over hyped. It has some very fine pecies as thats what its remit has always been, the best examples of stuff. But it doesn't compare to the Wallace or Leeds etc and most other collections.

Its also pretty well puplished and you can get things out through the usual channels. In fact its a lot easier to get a closer look of store items than anything on public display.

Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Dec, 2014 12:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Griffin wrote:
It's usually in store for a reason.

Space, finances, provenance, etc etc. I struggle to think where anything else could go and if you insist that its all put out then the sculpture, painting, other metalwork,

That's the problem. Museum curators choose to prioritise other parts of the collection and leave the stuff we are interested in gathering dust. If the administrators get an idea that visitor numbers will increase if arms and armour are displayed instead of their current pieces then they are more likely to reconsider those priorities.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Kyle Glover





Joined: 12 Dec 2013

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu 11 Dec, 2014 3:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The thing is, we arent the target audience and what we're interested in,generally isn't what the general public is interested in either. We might obsess over the precise differences between say, a coat of plates, a brigandine, a corrazina and a jack of plates, then get into bitter blood feuds over precisely at which date one becomes the other, but to the average museum goer, its all just "armour".

There is also the simple fact that if you want to see a world class collection of arms and armour in London, there is already the Tower and the Wallace. Is the stuff in the V & A comparable to the collections in those two museums? On a scale to make it worth the time and effort attempting to compete with them, especially as the V & A has it's niche in largely unrelated areas?
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