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Test 1 / 20

Assistant Curator

Lizzy, who works in the furniture, textiles and fashion department of the V and A museum, feels her job is incredibly


She often spends quite a lot of time doing writing and on collections.


The thing about the V and A is that she finds working with collections and objects incredibly


She explains how objects can tell you very interesting and very  things about a period.


She finds the fact that there’s always something new to discover really


While working in a public Contemporary Art Gallery, she realised she wanted something that was more history


She makes the point that there are limited openings, and anyone interested needs to look at it in as way as possible.


She further explains that the V and A offers various  often for students doing a degree programme.


Speaker 1

(0:04) My name is Lizzie Bisley, I’m an Assistant Curator in the Furniture, Textiles and Fashion department at the V&A. (0:10) My job is incredibly varied, so this morning I started my day doing some research on a Napoleonic medal cabinet that the V&A has just acquired, and then I spent about an hour looking at an amazing 1950s Christian Dior dress. (0:28) Tomorrow I’ve got some visitors coming in to look at some 1980s Italian designs, I’ll be meeting them in the store to look at that, and I spend quite a lot of time doing writing and research on the collection and publishing things online on the V&A’s Search the Collections database.

(0:43) The best thing about working at the V&A is probably working with the collection, because I find it incredibly exciting to work with objects. (0:52) The V&A has an amazing collection, but in any museum collection I think you’ll always find objects that tell you something very interesting and very unexpected about the period that you’re looking at, or the people who made it, and no matter how many times an object has been studied, there’s always something else that you can think about or discover about it, which is really thrilling. (1:12) But the other great thing about working at the V&A is that it’s filled with so many interesting people.

(1:17) You’re always meeting people who have something exciting and different to tell you. (1:21) I really enjoyed history at high school and then went on to do my degree and had a job (1:28) for a couple of years working in a public contemporary art gallery, which was great, (1:33) but I realised that I really wanted to do something that was more history-focused, so I came and (1:41) started doing a master’s degree in history of design, and then worked for about three (1:47) or four years doing about ten jobs at a time, patching together little bits of research (1:53) and editorial work and little bits of writing, and kind of finally managed to get a job as (2:03) an assistant curator. (2:03) And I think one of the difficult things about getting into curatorial work is that there aren’t a huge number of jobs, so you need to be willing to take on lots of different things and look at it in as broad a way as possible, and make your own projects if there aren’t any available, that kind of thing, kind of attack it in as many different ways as you can.

(2:21) We work in the Furniture and Textiles and Fashion department, we work a lot with young (2:27) people who come in as visitors, so partly school groups who come in either to have appointments (2:33) in our stores and look at objects in the study rooms, objects that are in storage, or we (2:39) also give talks and tours to school groups quite often who come round, but we also offer (2:46) various internships often for students who are in a summer between two years of a degree (2:52) programme.

(2:52) We try to give as much help as possible to students who want to work in museums, and give them a real sense of what the practical work of being in a museum is like. (3:02) I think you need to be, to do a job like the assistant curator job at the V&A, you need to be interested in objects, and you need to be interested in research, and you need to be interested in history or thinking about what objects can tell you about the past or the present. (3:19) You also have to be quite able to work in a very varied way, and you have to enjoy practical work because a lot of curatorial jobs are quite practical.

Test 2 / 20


This museum houses objects collected by the based in the city.

Cultural Society

It has one of the country’s best galleries containing exhibits.

natural science

The museum’s displays of butterflies and  are closed to visitors at present.


The section called is popular with young people.

Let’s InteractLet's Interact

The picture galleries contain works on various themes by .

German artists

The museum’s needs modernising.


The guide uses the word to describe the Rutland Dinosaur’s effect on people.


Polystyrene was used to reconstruct most of the Rutland Dinosaur’s .


Welcome to the City Museum and Art Gallery. Before we start our tour, I’d like to give you a bit of background information about the place itself. The museum was founded in 1849 as a home for the collections built up over the years by the local Cultural Society , and is one of seven museums owned by the city council. Its collections of dinosaurs and mummies are well known, and it also has one of Britain’s top five exhibitions of natural science. Unfortunately, not all areas are open to the public at the moment. In the cellar storerooms, for example, there are, amongst other things, display cases full of butterflies, and many others full of birds.

Upstairs, there’s a section designed especially for children, for those of you who are interested, where young people can dress up, draw pictures, and find out about the museum at their own pace. It’s called ‘Let’s Interact’ and there’s more noise there than silence, as you might imagine. But we find this to be a successful way of attracting children to museums. Let’s face it, museums in the past have been boring, rather stuffy places for children, and indeed adults,
to visit.

The picture galleries, which we’ll be visiting later, boast a fine collection of drawings, prints and woodcuts by German artists, and the art collection is arranged thematically, rather than chronologically. The themes we shall see are: colour, light, movement, signs, and symbols.

It’s a bit cold here, I’m afraid. I do apologise for this but, I’m sorry to say, the central heating needs a million-pound refit, which the city can’t afford to undertake at the moment. So, if any of you are millionaires, and feeling generous today, please see me after the tour!

Now, if you will just follow me to the end of the Grand Colonnade, we’ll turn right into the first exhibit room on the ground floor. [pause] Now, this room houses the Rutland Dinosaur. As you can see, it’s three and a half metres high and fourteen metres long, quite an intimidating sight! This Cetiosaurus, as it’s called, was found in England’s smallest county in 1968. The creature loped across the countryside 175 million years ago, and is the most complete example of the breed discovered to date. Most of the neck, some of the spine and a bit of the tail were found in Rutland; the rest of the tail is polystyrene. For those of you who prefer your dinosaurs on a much more human scale, there is a much smaller 200-million-year-old Pilosaur over there.