Image of the black in London galleries: The Victoria and Albert Museum

Date: Tue 21 Sep 2021.

Lecture about art history

Michael Ohajuru, Senior Fellow of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, returns with the fourth and final talk in his series - The Image of the Black in London Galleries. Michael highlights the black presence to be found in the national art collections in London. 

There is a black presence in many of the works in the nation’s collections in London. That presence takes many different forms; blacks are depicted as musicians, as kings, as slaves, as servants, as saints and sometime just as people and even as artist in their own right. The Black Presence in most cases is explicit, though not immediate, and sometimes the presence has to be teased out, IBLG seeks to make that Black presence better known.

The Victoria and Albert Museum – the first museum dedicated to design in the world - has objects dating from the thirteenth century to present in which form and function matter. There is a Black presence to be found in many of the pieces in its collection, it is to be found in sculpture, altar pieces, embroidery, paintings, stained glass, porcelain, jewellery and many other objects in its collection.

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