Journal Article

<i>Reading</i> and <i>Writing</i> at the V&A

Peter Dent and Ettore Napione

in Journal of the History of Collections

Volume 24, issue 2, pages 243-256
Published in print July 2012 | ISSN: 0954-6650
Published online May 2011 | e-ISSN: 1477-8564 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jhc/fhr012
Reading and Writing at the V&A

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  • Exhibition Catalogues and Specific Collections
  • History of Art
  • Social and Cultural History

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This article follows the fortunes of a pair of fourteenth-century Veronese statues at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A). Concentrating on the decades around 1900 and drawing on unpublished archival material, the paper reconstructs the events that carried these sculptures from Italy to the Museum, where they later came to form part of the permanent collections. This object history centres on the relationship between two understudied figures: Arthur Banks Skinner, director of the Museum and keeper of Department of Architecture and Sculpture, and John Henry Fitzhenry, collector and major benefactor of the V&A (like his friend George Salting). Fitzhenry's involvement is pursued through three episodes: the trade in late medieval sculpture in Verona; an educational visit by Fitzhenry and Skinner through central and northern Italy; and the crisis as the V&A lost thousands of loans when it was discovered on Fitzhenry's death that his will did not benefit the museum as anticipated.

Journal Article.  10010 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Exhibition Catalogues and Specific Collections ; History of Art ; Social and Cultural History

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