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

Author: Sarah Beattie (Cataloguer - Word and Image Department)
Are you looking forward to Valentine’s Day? I ask because this is one of the few holidays the mention of which is as likely to be met with a snort of derision as a sigh of anticipation. As Valentine’s Day is often accused of being a so-called ‘Hallmark holiday’, invented (or at least perpetuated) by companies to sell greetings cards, I thought I’d explore the origins...
Author: Lizzy Bullock (Content Editor - Digital Media)
Posted in: 
Today Mary Quant, the queen of 1960s London style turns 80. To celebrate the fashion queen’s landmark birthday, we’ve picked out some Mary Quant highlights from our collections.Mary Quant's boutique, Bazaar, was set up in 1955 on London’s fashionable King’s Road. It was known for its surreal window displays and eclectic mix of clothes, accessories and costume jewellery...
Author: Cathrin Yarnell (Cataloguer - Word and Image Department)
Bookplates, also called ex libris, have been pasted to the inside front covers of books since the advent of the printing press in the mid-fifteenth century. Though they were also used in public libraries, I find these small printed works most interesting when they are used by individuals to assert ownership over their prized works of literature. The Prints, Drawings and Paintings Collection holds...
Author: Vicky Worsfold (Senior Librarian - Onsite Information Services)
The National Art Library is freely available to anyone who wants to use its resources: other than the need to show some identification, all are welcome without restriction. Generally speaking, our users are students, academics, art market professionals and the V&A’s staff but every day brings new faces to the reading rooms. So, how does a library get to know (and prepare for) its...
Author: Dawn Hoskin (Assistant Curator)
In a previous post I explained how we have been holding workshops with external specialists. These enable us to draw from a broad spectrum of expertise when focussing on specific areas of the galleries and their development.We recently held another of these workshops, this time focusing on a significant work that was first published in 1723: Picart and Bernard’s Cérémonies et coutumes...
Author: Cara Williams (Schools Programme Manager)
On a cold and misty January morning, a group of Year 10 students from Alperton Community School were taken up to the highest point of the V&A – the cupola over the grand entrance. Health & Safety Advisor in tow, the students climbed the 137 steps to reach the outdoor viewing platform to sketch and photograph the panoramic views of London and the surrounding architecture.The sketches...
Author: Nicholas Smith (Archivist)
As I was leafing through an early volume of the V&A Archive’s collection of Photographic Guardbooks the eclectic parade of historical treasures passing before me was suddenly interrupted by a seemingly incongruous gallery of Royal Engineers testing collapsible pontoons in the Museum grounds!What possible reason could there be for pasting these photographs into the Guardbooks, I wondered...
Author: Roisin Inglesby (Assistant Curator of Designs)
After months of anticipation, the V&A has finally gone public with William Kent. We're officially on the website, tickets are on sale, and posters adorn the (for now, firmly closed) doors of the exhibition space. Top marks for knowing which spectacular marble hall they show:This grand entrance conceals the hive of activity going on behind closed doors, as building contractors transform...

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