Victoria and Albert Museum

The world’s greatest museum of art and design

Opening times

10.00 to 17.45 daily
10.00 to 22.00 Fridays

Archive

The Ballets Russes on stage during their first visit to the Fêtes des Narcisses when they danced Les Sylphides and Aurora’s Wedding (which is shown in this photograph). The Exhibition build is being dismantled – the cloths are all wrapped up and the technicians taking all the structures down and I shall report further on this as I wrap up this blog BUT I am still...
Our last courier arrived from Hamburg today to reclaim the wonderful cartoons of Le Spectre de la rose by Jean Cocteau. Material from the ‘props store’ has been claimed for the Friday late on 25 March which will have a performance theme . Many of the costumes are already crated up on their mannequins for their transatlantic voyage although we have been having some problems with our...
Alicia Markova in La Chatte and the petty cash receipt in her own hand for her shoes for this ballet The Archival case has been dismantled. This was the last material taken out of its case. It was fun putting this together and although some visitors moved past it quickly others poured over the documents fascinated. The documents ranged from the first contract for Hilda Munnings (about...
The cover of the 1915 souvenir programme, note the women’s Kokoshnik headdresses The Nijinsky, Poiret and Matisse cases were de-installed today so many of our star objects have been put away. As all the costumes are packed it is an opportunity to check details – sometimes because of questions received during the exhibition – sometimes because other questions spring to...
The banners have gone! As far as I can see the only public vestige of the exhibition in and around the V&A is the banners in the Sackler Centre from the ‘Train bleu project’ and posters covering the glass on the door to gallery 38. All the orange posters and banners have disappeared from the tunnel to South Kensington tube and from around the exhibition. We have also...
After filing my blog yesterday I returned to the galleries for a last look. After 17.15 the crowds thinned out and among the last visitors were a widely diverse group; two children were dancing in front of The Firebird and a family was making lightening sketches of costumes. Visitors departed reluctantly but happily and I knew I’d never see the full exhibition again. How right I...
As I arrived at the V&A on Sunday at 8.45 the last banners advertising Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes 1909-1929 were being taken down which really made it feel like the end. However I had one last special tour to give ahead of the public flocking in. By lunchtime the tickets for the last day were completely sold out, as were the copies of the book to accompany the...
A view of the end of the exhibition showing Diaghilev’s death mask, set designs for The Prodigal Son and costumes for Le Bal as well as the legacy section with the final AV screen. This week the exhibition has been crowded with about four times the numbers of visitors we have had in previous weeks. While before New Year it was very comfortable, enabling the visitors easy access to...
In the exhibition we show a short film incorporating material from the BBC’s Late Night Line Up: Diaghilev Scenery and Costumes originally transmitted on 22 July 1968 to help explain the acquisition of sets and costumes by the V&A. Of course the full story is somewhat more complex as they were purchased by Richard Buckle – with, as he liked to say, other people’s money, to...
The young girls in La Pastorale (1926) Photo Sasha Today I gave an early morning tour for dancers of the Richard Alston Dance Company. Occasionally the V&A will make such special arrangements for associated organisations to have a tour before the museum opens. Richard himself has helped considerably with the exhibition including creating the minute of choreography to enable us to...
Sadly those slashes are appearing on advertisements for the exhibition which say ‘last week’. Visitors are, nevertheless, flocking including a number from overseas either taking advantage of the ‘holiday period’ or rushing in at the eleventh hour when the cost of flights drops. We do like their enthusiasm and remarks such as that from a Canadian visitor who said ‘...