Joan of Arc thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Joan of Arc

Costume
1948 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The costume design for Joan of Arc (1948) holds the distinction of receiving the inaugural Academy Award for Best Costume Design, which was first presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1948. Dorothy Jeakins shared the award with co-designer Barbara Karinska for the medieval epic. Jeakins was a freelance costume designer, never under contract to a major Hollywood studio. During her career she worked in every different film genre from historical epics such as Samson and Delilah (1949), to musicals including South Pacific (1958) and The Sound of Music (1965). Jeakins received twelve nominations and two Academy Awards for her design work. She describes how she worked ‘after I study a script, I spread out my art supplies, pencil and paper and water colours. I’ll let my imagination work for me, seeing a character as a person I might know’.

The British Film Institute (BFI) acquired its costume collection for display at the Museum of the Moving Image, which existed on the South Bank in London between 1988 and 1999. The collection is made up of British, European, American and Japanese films and covers the period from the silent film era to the mid-1990s. It contains a wealth of historic and significant film costumes worn by major performers and designed by some of the 20th century’s most important film costume designers. The collection was transferred to the V&A in 2015.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Wool, decorated with gold metallic braid, hand couched and machine stitched.
Brief description
Costume worn by Ingrid Bergman in the title role of the film Joan of Arc, 1948
Physical description
Knee length tunic in cream wool decorated with fleur de lys motifs formed from gold metallic braid. The tunic has long sleeves ending in 'vandyked' cuffs, with the same effect used to finish the hem, and also to create the upright collar.
Dimensions
  • Nape to hem height: 92cm (Maximum)
  • Sleeve length length: 71cm (Maximum)
  • Nape to waist length: 39cm (Maximum)
  • Waist circumference: 80cm (Maximum)
Measured by conservation
Credit line
Given by the British Film Institute
Summary
The costume design for Joan of Arc (1948) holds the distinction of receiving the inaugural Academy Award for Best Costume Design, which was first presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1948. Dorothy Jeakins shared the award with co-designer Barbara Karinska for the medieval epic. Jeakins was a freelance costume designer, never under contract to a major Hollywood studio. During her career she worked in every different film genre from historical epics such as Samson and Delilah (1949), to musicals including South Pacific (1958) and The Sound of Music (1965). Jeakins received twelve nominations and two Academy Awards for her design work. She describes how she worked ‘after I study a script, I spread out my art supplies, pencil and paper and water colours. I’ll let my imagination work for me, seeing a character as a person I might know’.



The British Film Institute (BFI) acquired its costume collection for display at the Museum of the Moving Image, which existed on the South Bank in London between 1988 and 1999. The collection is made up of British, European, American and Japanese films and covers the period from the silent film era to the mid-1990s. It contains a wealth of historic and significant film costumes worn by major performers and designed by some of the 20th century’s most important film costume designers. The collection was transferred to the V&A in 2015.
Collection
Accession number
S.1644-2015

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Record createdMay 29, 2015
Record URL
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