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

Brittany Harbidge

Author: Brittany Harbidge (Cataloguer - Word and Image Department)
This weekend the world will turn green, in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day on Monday 17th March. We here in the Word and Image Department have donned our shamrocks and found the best examples of ephemera associated with the Emerald Isle in our collection to share with you today.Life of St. Patrick, Phoebe Anna Traquair, 1852-1936. Museum no. E.4886-1968. © Victoria and Albert Museum,...
Author: Brittany Harbidge (Cataloguer - Word and Image Department)
It’s here. The tastiest, most delicious celebration of the year.Pancake Day.Also named ‘Mardi Gras,’ ‘Fat Tuesday,’ and ‘Shrove Tuesday,’ this celebration happens the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. As well as reminding us all once a year how much we love pancakes (before we promptly forget they exist until next year), it is intended to...
Author: Brittany Harbidge (Cataloguer - Word and Image Department)
Today we celebrate the birthday of the lithographer Honoré Daumier, born on 26th February, 1808. A staunch republican, he produced over 4000 lithographs in his lifetime, chronicling, commenting on, and, most importantly, sartirising the tumultuous nineteenth century French politics and society he lived and worked through. His exposure to four different political regimes, namely the July Monarchy...
Author: Brittany Harbidge (Cataloguer - Word and Image Department)
Inspired by a visit to the London Aquarium, I recently spent a pleasurable hour trawling through the Factory, looking at the fish in our collection. Aside from offering endless pun possibilities, fish have significance in all cultures. They act as food and economy for many river and coastal towns, are the basis for one of the most famous stories in the bible, and, as you will see here, have...
Author: Brittany Harbidge (Cataloguer - Word and Image Department)
Since the inaugural show in 1984, London Fashion Week has been one of the premier occasions on the fashion calendar. This bi-annual event is the second of the ‘Big 4’ fashion shows, following New York, and preceding Milan and Paris. From the 14th-18th of February, the finest British designers, including Mulberry, Matthew Williamson and Peter Pilotto will dictate what we will wear next...
Author: Brittany Harbidge (Cataloguer - Word and Image Department)
This week we are celebrating Chinese New Year, ringing in the Year of the Horse. The recent acquisition of Joey has put all at the V&A in a rather horsey mood, providing The Factory yet again with the perfect opportunity to search through the Word and Image collection, and pull out some of our finest equestrian examples to share with you.Untitled design, unknown artist, ca. 1760. Museum no. E...
Author: Brittany Harbidge (Cataloguer - Word and Image Department)
It is soon to be Burns Night, providing The Factory with the perfect opportunity to dig out some of the best Caledonian-related objects in our collection, and provide a little party inspiration.Burns Night is a delicious celebration held on the25th January, celebrating the life and works of the Scottish poet Rabbie Burns. The merriment focuses on a king-amongst-foods – haggis. This supreme...
Author: Brittany Harbidge (Cataloguer - Word and Image Department)
Today I ‘d like to share with you something old from the collection, which rarely gets a chance to claim the limelight – brass rubbings.In the interest of honesty, I will admit that when I started to catalogue all of the brass rubbings the Museum acquired in 1934, the subject did not thrill me. However, I have now learned to love them, as I’ve realised that they are fascinating...
Author: Brittany Harbidge (Cataloguer - Word and Image Department)
The countdown has begun. The tree is up (come in to the Museum and see it, it’s incredible), the Christmas scones are available in the staff canteen and the Christmas cards are being handed around the office.The cards.The V&A holds the national designated collection of greeting cards. Part of this is a sterling collection of Christmas cards, a few of which I’m going to share with...