V&A Prints and Drawings Study Room

19th November 2018: Spotlight on Val Wilmer’s Jazz Seen Exhibition, 1973.

Went to this as part of my work on the Courtauld digitisation project. You never know what the spotlight will focus on, so really lucked out with this one. ‘As Serious as your Life‘, which I bought and read in 1977, is one of my favourite books, and really influenced me in so many ways (musically and academically). Prints from the exhibition, plus other supporting material, such as curator’s planning notes, posters (see above), photos of the Steve Lacy Quintet performing at the exhibition event (below), print material such as Ten8 24 (above) and boxes of related prints (like the Tony Ray-Jones US jazz photos, cited as an influence by Val, see above).

Photos of Jazz Unseen (1973) concert from V&A archives

The point here is not so much about the event (which was terrific) but the archive as a resource. Will certainly schedule visits to the prints and drawings study room in the future for research related to my project. Includes the RPS photograph collection. You can ask for up to four boxes of prints to look at per visit. I need to think carefully about how archival work might fit with my project. Whatever, looking through print collections is an important part of developing photographic and artistic practice.