West Herts College Art and Design students receive behind the scenes tour at the V&A Museum

A recent visit to the V&A Museum saw Art and Design students from Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassador West Herts College get the chance to discuss a new apprenticeship opportunity. The students were given a 2 hour guided tour of the V&A, getting to see behind the scenes the work that the Technical Services Team at the museum do.

On arrival the students were introduced to the Technical Services team and given an insight into a recent job of moving the cast of Michelangelo’s ‘David’ by Clemente Papi, 1856, with the base alone weighing 2 tonnes!

The Technical Services team are responsible for not only the care and movement of pieces, but also the setup of new exhibitions, some of which go on worldwide exhibition tours. The V&A hosts a series of major exhibitions several times a year alongside its regular collection, most recently Dior and also a David Bowie exhibition.

The apprenticeship with the V&A would have many different aspects; the team felt it may have been of particular interest to our Art and Design students as one requirement of the job would be to design and build support structures for the pieces. The apprentice would also be responsible for the transportation, storage and set up of these priceless pieces of cultural history; as well as going on tour with them around the UK and world.

Students were then given a behind the scenes tour, where artifacts unseen by the public for decades were being assessed, cleaned and archived. This was then followed by a tour and talks around the packing and shipping facilities the team uses.

The students came away from the visit inspired and having gained a better understanding of how the museum gets its funding, raises revenue and its cultural importance and heritage.

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