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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Circulating agency: The V&A, Scotland and the multiplication of plaster casts of 'Celtic crosses'
Author(s): Foster, Sally
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Keywords: Replicas
plaster casts
Celtic Revival
R F Martin
Victoria and Albert Museum
R C Graham
J R Allen
Circulation Department
Glasgow International Exhibition 1901
Kelvingrove Museum
Dundee Museum
The McManus Museum
Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum
Issue Date: Mar-2015
Date Deposited: 20-Oct-2014
Citation: Foster S (2015) Circulating agency: The V&A, Scotland and the multiplication of plaster casts of 'Celtic crosses'. Journal of the History of Collections, 27 (1), pp. 73-96.
Abstract: The creation of bespoke collections of plaster casts of ‘Celtic' sculpture for the 1901 Glasgow International Exhibition and museums in Dundee in 1904/11 and Aberdeen in 1905 provides a Scottish lens on a wider phenomenon and its context: South Kensington's role in the provinces, museums and ‘imperial localism', burgeoning curatorial professionalism and networking, milestones in early medieval scholarship, objects as ‘archaeology' or ‘art', the value of replicas, and the Celtic Revival. A ‘provinces-up' approach explores practices on the ground to reveal the significance of the work of the V&A's Circulation Department and of people such as R. F. Martin, that institutional histories omit. Exposing how the Dundee and Aberdeen art exhibitions were selectively derivative of Glasgow's antiquarian enterprise, and the vagaries of their subsequent survival, illuminates the importance of understanding what past and present collections omit and why, as well as what they include.
DOI Link: 10.1093/jhc/fhu008
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in Journal of the History of Collections by Oxford University Press. Advance access available from 01/04/2014. The original publication is available at:

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