Unwrapping Christmas at the V&A Museum of Childhood

tree small

“Christmas, I always look upon as a most dear happy time, also for Albert, who enjoyed it naturally still more in his happy home, which mine, certainly, as a child, was not. It is a pleasure to have this blessed festival associated with one’s happiest days. The very smell of the Christmas Trees of pleasant […]

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Thinking and Experiencing ‘Techne’: Cooking From a Sixteenth-Century Lavender Spike Oil Recipe

Heating lavender spike oil

This post was written by second-year students, Sophie Châtellier and Matilde Audisio, members of a group of V&A/RCA History of Design MA students taking part in the ‘Thinking and Experiencing Techne’ seminar/lab in the spring term. One of its aims was to recreate a series of recipes from a sixteenth-century French technical manuscript.   On […]

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Christmas at the National Art Library

Image: The first Christmas card, commissioned by Henry Cole and designed by John Callcott Horsley, 1843

Lithograph coloured by hand.

Museum number L.3293-1987 (c) Victoria and Albert Museum

The V&A is a wonderful place to visit at Christmas, with lots of festive displays, activities, and events for all!  One display that has just opened is Season’s Greetings: Victorian Christmas cards in Room 108, which features amongst other items the ‘first Christmas card’ commissioned by Henry Cole and designed by the artist John Callcott […]

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Alken, Alkin and the invisible plates: documenting illustration in the library catalogue

Samuel Alken after William Gilpin. Aquatint plate from: Gilpin, William. ‘Remarks on forest scenery, and other woodland views, (relative chiefly to picturesque beauty)' Vol. 2 (London: printed for R. Blamire, 1791). NAL: 38041800769051

Whilst consulting William Gilpin’s ‘Remarks on forest scenery’, I noticed this statement in the list of plates: “Of these drawings all the landscape-part, which I hope the public will think with me is very masterly, was executed by Mr. Alkin”. The landscape illustrations are unsigned aquatints. I had recently been cataloguing William Maton’s ‘Observations relative […]

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Thinking and Experiencing ‘Techne’: Revealing Object Histories with UV Light

  This post was written by second-year student, Letitia Calin, one of a group of V&A/RCA History of Design MA students participating in the ‘Thinking and Experiencing Techne’ seminar/lab.   Early on in the ‘Thinking and Experiencing Techne’ seminar and lab course of the V&A/RCA History of Design MA we investigated a selection of early […]

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New Peepshow Discoveries Come to Light

Fig. 1. Paris la Nuit, ca. 1860.

A Guest Post from Marie-Alix de Cools in Book Conservation The V&A recently received a wonderful collection of nearly 400 paper peepshows and other optical devices, a collection which had been assembled over a period of 30 years by Jacqueline and Jonathan Gestetner (see recent blog post on this topic).           During my internship in […]

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Intoart’s Place and Repeat programme returns to the V&A – part 2

IMG_1795-min

Intoart returned to the V&A in October 2016 for the second year of their Place and Repeat programme. Intoart’s Place and Repeat programme aims to create opportunities for the artistic and professional development of people with learning disabilities working within V&A museum and their engagement with collections and archives. This year’s programme builds on Intoart artists’ […]

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Intoart’s Place and Repeat programme returns to the V&A

IMG_1683 session 2-min

Intoart returned to the V&A in October 2016 for the second year of their Place and Repeat programme. Intoart’s Place and Repeat programme aims to create opportunities for the artistic and professional development of people with learning disabilities working within V&A museum and their engagement with collections and archives. This year’s programme builds on Intoart artists’ […]

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Rapid Response Collecting – Burkini and Refugee Flag

Refugee Flag Install 30/11/2016

A burkini and refugee flag are the two latest acquisitions by the Museum’s Design, Architecture and Digital department, recently installed in the Rapid Response Collecting gallery. Text by Mariana Pestana, Curator of Future Design, and Kristian Volsing, Research Curator – Videogames The refugee flag was commissioned by the Refugee Nation, a not-for-profit creative project led […]

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Visit our final Artist in Residence Open Studios of 2016!

Bethan Lloyd Worthington

Visit our three artists in residence as they open their doors for the last Open Studios of 2016 on Wednesday 14 December! Please see below for exact meeting points at 13.00 sharp for Julian Melchiorri and Noor Ali Chagani. Bethan Lloyd Worthington will open up her studio in the Ceramics Galleries on level 6 between 13.00 […]

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