Photograph of May Morris by Frederick Hollyer

Unsung Artists : May Morris (1862-1938)

One of the best things about working on the Factory project is the range of different artists and designers that we come across while cataloguing. The V&A’s collection of works on paper is huge (741,000 objects and counting!) and amongst the famous names like Constable and Raphael, there are a wealth of fascinating and talented […]

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Poster Close-Up and Personal

On the travels of our 18th-century gold boxes

Back in September 2014, I wrote a post about the closure of the Gilbert Galleries at the V&A, and promised that I would keep you updated about our various projects to make the collection as accessible as possible to the public. So if you want to see some of the Gilbert Collection’s most precious and beautiful gold boxes, […]

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V&A Print Season: Kristjana Williams

Q: Did you ever visit the V&A while studying at Central Saint Martins and is there a particular room you find the most inspiring? KW: I did come there a lot – one of the most inspiring rooms were the big tapestry rooms – they’re incredible. Q: Your works are extremely detailed and beautiful, what […]

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day No.61

The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day No.61 Finishing the week in Soho. Brewer St, it was either going to be this leading gay lifestyle superstore, as described in Timeout  A Japanese knife shop or a record store.  All living happily cheek by jowl.  That’s what is great about this city. ©Barnaby Barford […]

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Japanese print by Shigenobu (Hiroshige II) depicting Nakano Street in the Yoshiwara district of Edo (Tokyo) during cherry blossom season.

Toshiba Gallery – From Renovation to Innovation

The Japanese concept of ‘mono no aware’ is central to Japanese aesthetics. It is usually translated as ‘the pathos of things’ and is used to describe the beauty of the ephemeral. The cherry blossom, which blooms for only a few weeks, is highly valued in Japan because of its transience. It is fitting that as […]

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An Imperial Playhouse: The Gilbert Collection’s Russian micromosaic jewel casket re-identified

On 4 March 2015 I gave an illustrated lunch-time talk at the V&A on Russian Country Houses which was well received and well attended. Afterwards, Katrina Warne, a regular visitor to Russia, identified the micromosaic scene on the Gilbert Collection jewel casket which I had illustrated as a view of the Gothic Priory at Gatchina. […]

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Lighting up the Studio

Last week a colleague mysteriously encouraged me to pop my head into the Photo Studio, for a ‘nice surprise’. Not knowing quite what to expect, I arrived to find Metalwork Curator Kirstin and Senior Metals Conservator Donna in the final stages of assembling the rather stunning chandelier which will be part of our Louis XIV display. To enable […]

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Glynn Christian in front of Giambologna's Samson Slaying a Philistine at the V&A

Why the V&A Gay and Lesbian Tour is Essential

Dan Vo examines how the V&A’s new LGBTQ Tour came to be, and why it is needed. My eye scans down the poster and is drawn to a rather handsome tail on the letter Q. The notice is headed ‘V&A Tours and Talks’, and the line I am reading says, ‘16.00 LGBTQ Tour (last Saturday […]

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St. George’s Day – Dragons in the Prints, Drawings and Paintings Collection

Bravery and gallantry abound today as we celebrate the feast day of St. George: patron saint of England, Portugal, Germany, Lithuania, Georgia, Russia and Palestine, amongst others. Through his portrayal in visual imagery this chivalrous saint has, perhaps, become most widely recognised as a dragon slayer. It is the representation of the dragon slayer that […]

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All that glitters…

  Sparkly gold embroidery (zardozi) has, to be honest, never been my favourite kind of Indian textile. But during the selection process of pieces for The Fabric of India I have surprised myself by developing a soft spot for other kinds of textile involving metal or metal-wrapped thread, and indeed for the metal materials themselves.   Many of […]

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