Take a look at what goes on behind-the-scenes in the world’s greatest museum of art and design. From bestselling exhibitions to hidden gems in the collections, learn about our latest projects, ideas and discoveries.
Monday, July 1, 2013
Did you know that Henry Cole (1808-1882), the V&A’s first director, started his professional career as an archivist – ‘sub-commissioner’ was his actual job title – in the Records Commission (the forerunner of the National Archives)? Here he undertook the important archival work of calendaring, indexing, sorting, transcribing, and preserving records; and when the...
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
I covered headwear a couple of posts ago, so logically it must be time to turn our sartorially-peckish peepers to the ticklish bases of our pillars of flesh and blood and bone: the feet.VERY natty boots (T.110:1, 2-1993) © Victoria & Albert Museum, London The V&A’s shoe collection is very large and very expansive. It represents over two millennia of methods we humans have used...
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Luca della Robbia, October; The Labours of the Months, Florence, Italy, Tin-glazed terracotta, Medieval and Renaissance Galleries, Room 64, Case SS, Mus Ref: 7641-1861 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London This week’s object is an exceptional example of Italian renaissance interior decoration: in terms of design and materials there’s nothing quite like it, even in Italy, let alone...
Monday, June 24, 2013
Have your strawberries and cream at the ready, because today is the start of the 2013 Wimbledon championships. To celebrate this much-loved date in the sporting calendar, we’ve delved into our collections to bring you some special tennis-related objects.Tennis Rackets Sunglasses, Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear, 1956, Museum no. T.243E-1990. © Victoria and Albert Museum, LondonThese tennis...
Friday, June 21, 2013
The V&A has acquired a rare set of peridot gems mounted in gold by the royal jeweller, Rundell, Bridge & Rundell in 1816, thanks to the generosity of private donors.(left) Handwritten note from Princess Elizabeth to Miss Cotes, 30 April, 1816, (right) Peridot gems given to Mis
Thursday, June 20, 2013
In a previous post I wrote about design as a process of collaborative evolution, and nowhere is this more apparent than with the creation of a large exhibition like William Kent. At last count, there are at least 10 people who regularly attend the design meetings for the V&A version of the show. This includes, but is not always limited to: the curatorial team, who are responsible for the...
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
The ideas and messages that are shaping the content of the galleries have been informed and developed using a number of processes. Two key activities that were established in the early days of the project are ‘Brainstorm Meetings’ and ‘Pin-Ups’.Europe Brainstorm TeamThe Europe Brainstorm Team is an expert group of twenty-five curatorial and interpretation staff recruited...
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Peter Kennard, one of Britain’s longest-standing and most influential activist artists, has released a series of posters in response to the G8 Summit hosted this week (17-18 June) in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. The posters (which are re-workings of photomontages from his book @Earth) are statements of dissent and distrust towards the activities of the leaders who represent the world...
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
In one of my earlier blogs I wrote about an Italian marriage chest or cassone, and this week’s object is, in a sense, a sequel to that. It is a birth tray (in Italian, desco da parto), an object that was typically commissioned to celebrate the birth of a first-born son in elite Florentine families. Its author, Apollonio di Giovanni (c.1415-1465), was a Florentine painter who ran a workshop...
Monday, June 17, 2013
Commemorative Suffragette silk scarf with purple, green and white vertical stripes, Museum no. T.20-1946. © Victoria and Albert MuseumOn 10 February 1913, the V&A’s Director, Cecil Harcourt-Smith, received disturbing intelligence of an audacious plot by members of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) to vandalise the Museum’s priceless treasures.The suffragette...