Collecting Late Antique textiles at the Victoria and Albert Museum: Greville Chester, Gayet, Thomas and friends
The Victoria and Albert Museum holds one of the world’s largest collections of Late Antique and early Islamic textiles from Egypt. Parts of the collection’s history, and the figures responsible for helping to form it, are well known - others much less so. This talk will outline some of the key individuals, but also several of the lesser-known, who donated or sold Egyptian textiles to the V&A in the 19th and 20th centuries. Tracing the relationship of these figures with the V&A shines a fascinating spotlight on changing attitudes to Egyptian textiles within the Museum and collecting and curating practices more widely.
Dr Benjamin Hinson is an Egyptologist and Curator in the Middle East Section of the Victoria and Albert Museum. His research focuses on the 19th and 20th century collecting histories of Egyptian objects, particularly textiles, as well as the reception of ancient Egypt in art and design. He was recently the co-curator of the Sainsbury Centre’s exhibition Visions of Ancient Egypt, exploring Egypt’s global legacy.