Lecture by Sarah Grant, Curator in the Word and Image department of London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Talk given in conjunction with the exhibition ‘Fragile Beasts’ (on view at Cooper Hewitt June 10, 2016 through January 16, 2017).

In this talk Sarah Grant gives an overview of the grotesque in all its many fanciful and provocative permutations: from its origins in ancient Rome and its rediscovery and eccentric treatment in the Renaissance to its grandiose and elegant variations in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

As a curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Sarah Grant is responsible for the British national collection of engraved ornament. She led an Esmée Fairbairn Foundation-funded project to catalogue the museum’s 28,000 ornament prints and curated the V&A’s 2015 display on the neoclassical ornament of Ennemond Alexandre Petitot.