Victoria and Albert Museum

The world’s greatest museum of art and design

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Archive

Author: William Newton (Assistant Curator - Department of Furniture, Textiles & Fashion)
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Some of our more contemplative readers might be interested to learn that the Clothworkers’ Centre will also be home to more than eight-hundred pattern books and swatches. The majority of these are held by the Textiles and Fashion section, though there will also be a good number from our colleagues in the Asian Department. The preparation of these books for travel and storage presented a...
As discussed in the previous blog entry by the seventeenth century printmakers were displaying their technical mastery through combining engraving and blackwork in their plates. This was soon followed in the second decade of the seventeenth century with new developments to create tonal modelling and a more feathery style.Figure 1Esaias van HulsenPlate from a suite of 6 designs for goldsmith...
Author: Roisin Inglesby (Assistant Curator of Designs)
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Today is the one year anniversary of the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Summer Olympics, and to mark the occasion Thomas Heatherwick's cauldron model has been installed on display in the Prints and Drawings Study Room.The model arrives in the Study Room and is taken out of its packing crate. © Abraham ThomasThe V&A technicians carefully manoeuver the hood on to the plinth. ©...
Author: Roisin Inglesby (Assistant Curator of Designs)
Design is all about the interplay between the 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional, as ideas that start life on paper are translated into the objects that they predict. In the nineteenth century members of the Arts and Crafts movement challenged the separation of design from craftsmanship, in the belief that historically practitioners would have executed their own designs, and that contemporary design...
Author: Richard Mulholland and Susan Catcher (Paper Conservators)
Paper Conservators at the V&A are responsible for everything from minute portrait miniature paintings to enormous printed posters. Historic wallpapers also come under their remit, and the V&A has an extremely fine collection. As part of a series of posts on new displays for the British Galleries, Senior Paper Conservator, Susan Catcher explains the processes involved in conserving and...
Layette pincushion, unknown maker, 1784. Museum no. B.3-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Author: Lizzy Bullock (Content Editor - Digital Media)
Posted in: 
As news of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s baby grips the nation, we thought it was time to show you some of the items in our collections fit for a new royal arrival. An essential item for any baby is, of course, a cradle. This beautiful example was designed in 1861 by the architect Richard Norman Shaw for the first son of a fellow architect, Alfred Waterhouse. It is made out of oak in...
V&A Podcasts
Author: V&A Network
Posted in: 
The V&A has launched a fortnightly series of podcasts revealing the work that goes on behind the scenes of the world’s leading art and design museum. Topics range from the challenges of curating exhibitions about performance, to ways of preventing art theft.Hosted by the V&A’s Head of Research, Glenn Adamson, each podcast lasts around 20 minutes and offers an in-depth...
Author: Dawn Hoskin (Assistant Curator)
Mock-ups follow pin-ups in our schedule. They have been one of the most important activities in helping us to arrive at our final selection of museum objects to be displayed in the galleries. They are occasions where we bring together the museum objects that have been selected to feature in a specific display and lay them out in the way that has been proposed by our designers ZMMA.At times, we...
Author: Paula Nuttall (Director of Late Medieval to Early Renaissance Year Course)
Among the most historic – and historical – treasures in the V&A’s Medieval and Renaissance Galleries are four stained glass panels from a series depicting the rulers of the Burgundian Netherlands, together with angels bearing coats-of-arms, originally from the windows of the Chapel of the Holy Blood in Bruges. The V&A panels depict Mary, Duchess of Burgundy, her husband...
The characteristic style of early blackwork prints incorporates sixteenth-century scrollwork, strapwork and arabesque motifs into an ornamental hybrid known as Schweifwerk or ‘tailwork’, recognisable by its curving lines terminating in tails. By the seventeenth century these forms develop into a more spontaneous flourish, often combining motifs taken from nature.Figure 1Daniel...
Author: James Sutton (Records and Archives Assistant)
Now that the summer months are here moths and other insects are in flight and much in evidence. Clothes moths are a serious threat to the V&A’s collections and especially to textiles, with textiles predominately made from wool being particularly attractive to moths. The risk of moth damage to textiles is not a new problem and during the Second World War as part of the Air Raid...
Author: Paula Nuttall (Director of Late Medieval to Early Renaissance Year Course)
This week’s object has been chosen by students on the Medieval and Renaissance Year Course, and is by the great Florentine sculptor Donatello (1386-1466). It is an image of the Virgin and Child, by far the most common type of privately owned art object in this period. Images such as this served as aids to daily prayer, and were available in a wide range of materials, styles and formats, to...

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