Carly's illustrated talk will explore Victoria and Albert's shared love for the arts. Using
examples drawn from the Royal Collection, she will provide a broad overview of their
collecting across a variety of disciplines – from works on paper to paintings, architecture
and sculpture, decorative arts and the new and exciting technology of photography.
Victoria and Albert were also talented amateur artists themselves, and Carly will
demonstrate how their taste and knowledge of the arts was underpinned by practical
experimentation. Above all, Carly's talk will illuminate the very personal nature of the
royal couple's enjoyment of the arts and reveal how – in the presents they regularly
made to one another of works of art of all different types – they expressed their mutual
love and devotion.
Carly Collier is an independent art historian. She was previously, first, Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings (2016-2020) and then Assistant Curator of Photographs (2021-2022) at Royal Collection Trust. Her research interests lay in nineteenth-century British art, collecting and taste. She curated the recent Royal Collection Trust touring exhibition (UK only) Victoria & Albert: Our Lives in Watercolour (2019-21), which commemorated the bicentenary of the births of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The exhibition presented 80 colourful, dynamic watercolours acquired by the royal couple which captured the pomp and spectacle of the British court, foreign travel and diplomacy, the exploration and shaping of a modern nation and, importantly, the close-knit family at the heart of it all. Carly authored a fully illustrated publication to accompany the exhibition and has written and presented widely on the Victorian art in the Royal Collection, including for the BBC and in the recent documentary Prince Albert: A Victorian Hero Revealed (available on PBS).
Carly and her husband relocated this summer to Dublin as her
But on a happier note, a cocktail and recipe suggestion for my forthcoming Happy Hour talk - a Kir Royale. Now in terms of appropriateness, I'm afraid the link is somewhat tenuous (simply
the royal of the title!), but Queen Victoria was not hugely fond of alcohol so I decided to also
take the liberty of suggesting one of my favourite drinks. It's also a very simple recipe, which
hopefully is a good thing:
1 tbsp crème de cassis, topped with champagne (or another sparkling wine of choice) and
garnished with a fresh or frozen blackberry.