Hidden Treasures of Berkeley Castle (… and a few not-so-hidden ones)

Berkeley Castle, picture courtesy of Jackie Pennington

One of Britain’s most historic and atmospheric properties, Berkeley Castle, is holding an exhibition throughout September called ‘The Hidden Treasures of Berkeley Castle’. The exhibition shows rarely seen items from the Berkeley family collection, including a beautiful, gold, Saxon ring decorated with dogs’ heads and delicate gold filigree, which has been in the family for […]

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Discovering legacies at the V&A: Michael Diamond

S.2080-1995

Poster for The Great World of London at The Standard Theatre, Bishopsgate & Shoreditch, London, Easter Monday, April 3rd, 1899; produced by The Meliville Brothers; 
printed by David Allen & Sons; 
English (London), April 1899.

Over the summer, I had the great pleasure of meeting Michael Diamond and being shown his wonderful and unique collection of Victorian and Edwardian theatre posters – I come across bright and colourful melodrama spectacles from Sherlock Holmes to the femme fatale, and soon enough, find myself wishing I could go and see these shows that […]

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Glass, hair, shoe laces and straw

'The Book of Nails'
Floating Concrete Octopus, 1992
Pressmark: X930037

Each year at the V&A, students, artists, book historians and anyone else with an eye for the beautiful, unusual and thought provoking come to visit the National Art Library’s rich and varied collection of over 5000 artists’ books.  Often unique works of art, many are displayed in galleries around the V&A as fine examples of […]

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‘Slumland Art’: Exhibiting the Bethnal Green Men’s Institute 1924-1938

Lord Burnham and Archibald Hattemore

In 1928, East Ender Archibald Hattemore was interviewed by the Daily News and Westminster Gazette about his painting ‘The Dead Flamingo, Interior of Bethnal Green Museum’ (Tameside Museum and Galleries Service). The picture had just been purchased by the world’s most famous art dealer, Joseph Duveen, for exhibition in the Tate Gallery. A resident of […]

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‘Mde de Maupeou prays Mr Barbier to give the courier thirteen aunes of cloth … ‘

38041800167801 Letter from a series of Letters & Orders addressed to M. Barbier - Marchand de soie de la famille Royale & to his partner Tétard; French (Paris); c.1755 - c.95. National Art Library

Mde de Maupeou prays Mr Barbier to give the courier thirteen aunes of cloth following the selected sample; he would also like to put them on his bill. Ableiges 31 August 1789   Mde de Maupeau The Europe Galleries will boast a display dedicated to ‘Silks’. Considering the progression of 18th-century silk fashions ‘from design to […]

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From Shanghai to Sevenoaks – the Denton Welch bequest

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For every large bequest of objects and artworks donated to the museum over the years, there are hundreds of smaller donors who leave intriguing collections of personal treasures to the V&A.  One such donor is the artist and writer Denton Welch.  Upon his untimely death in 1948, aged 33, he left five pieces of whimsical […]

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Contemporary Portraiture

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By guest blogger Kate Elliott A couple of weeks ago photographer and artist Kate Elliott led a one-day photography course, exploring a broad range of approaches to contemporary portraiture. To tie in with the current V&A display Facing History: Contemporary Portraiture, the group discussed how contemporary practitioners have adapted and drawn inspiration from historical or […]

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Graphic Gathering

Activities in the galleries to generate ideas for the brief

Graphic Gathering is the Victoria and Albert Museum’s annual graphic design challenge for secondary school students. The competition is designed to give students a taste of professional practice and help prepare them for higher or further education and work in the creative industries, through answering a real life brief. Creative & Cultural Skills (CCSkills), recently […]

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#MuseumInstaSwap

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This week we’re joining nine London museums to celebrate each other’s collections through the photo sharing network Instagram. The idea came following an article by the Londonist in May 2015, where the magazine listed ‘The Best London Museums to follow on Instagram’, based on the number of followers. Along with the V&A the museums selected […]

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Getting the feel of The Fabric of India

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With such a strong focus on materials in the first part of the exhibition, we thought it would be a good thing for visitors to be able to feel the different textures of some of the fabrics on show. Clearly this isn’t possible with the actual museum objects, for which there is a strict ‘no […]

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