Scenography Beyond Theatre

Designing POLIN, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Authored by: Arnaud Dechelle

The Routledge Companion to Scenography

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138917804
eBook ISBN: 9781315688817
Adobe ISBN:


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The British newspaper, the Evening Standard, presents annual theatre awards covering most of the usual categories. But in 2015 it presented an award in the category “Beyond Theatre” to Savage Beauty, an exhibition of the work of fashion designer Alexander McQueen at the Victoria and Albert Museum. In its explanation of the award, the paper referred to the show’s “staging” (Evening Standard 2015). The curator, Claire Wilcox, was also the curator of an exhibition I designed at the V&A in 2001, Radical Fashion. In her introduction to the catalogue for that exhibition Wilcox highlighted the crucial role of narrative exhibitions in museums. “The history of any museum is as much made up of its exhibitions as by the sum of its permanent collections. These events mark moments in time, and changes in attitudes” (Wilcox 2001: 1).

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