Katherine Elliott

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Best laid plans: mapping the V&A by Andrew McIlwraith

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Andrew McIlwraith is a PhD researcher in the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading. His research is funded by the AHRC Design Star Centre for Doctoral Training of which the V&A is a partner.   It’s no secret that the V&A is a complicated building. Even regular visitors may struggle […]

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Victorian Futures: Culture, Democracy and the State on the Road to Olympicopolis

Victorian Futures: Culture, Democracy and the State on the Road to Olympicopolis  Conference Poster

BOOK YOUR PLACE A collaboration between University of the Arts London, Middlesex University and the Victoria and Albert Museum.   On 14 and 15 May 2015, Chelsea College of Arts will host a two-day conference, Victorian Futures Culture, Democracy and the State on the Road to Olympicopolis, a collaboration between Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of […]

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Moroccan Fashion Designers in the 1960s

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By M. Angela Jansen Visiting Scholar in the Research Department at the V&A Very little research has been conducted on the first generation of Moroccan fashion designers who emerged in Casablanca in the 1960s. This is remarkable when you think that at the time they had not only caught the attention of the renowned editor-in-chief […]

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The fashionable accountant – Reconstructing his best outfit

Matthäus Schwarz in his outfit for the Imperial Diet of 1530

by Katy O’Neill and Francesca Butcher ‘Menswear is about subtlety. It’s about good style and good taste.’ Alexander McQueen   A first impression of the garish red and yellow outfit depicted [above] would seem to contradict McQueen’s call for subtlety. Yet, as Professor Ulinka Rublack explained in a recent seminar in the V&A/RCA History of Design […]

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Cottage Gardens: Fact or Fiction?

A Surrey Cottage, 1880, watercolour by Helen Allingham. Courtesy of Burgh House & Hampstead Museum

by Sophie Foan   The English are well known for their love of gardening. From village flower and produce shows to inner city allotments, evidence of this is manifest nationwide. The public have long enjoyed visiting the gardens of grand country houses made accessible by the National Trust, and programmes such as Gardener’s World are […]

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All work and no play makes the museum a dull place?

Crookes Radiometer, Image by Lina Hakim

by Grace Bremner   “[W]e learn by interacting with bits of the world even when our words for how these bits work are inadequate.” -Davis Baird   All work and no play makes the museum a dull place. Or so Lina Hakim would have us believe through her latest seminar in the History of Design […]

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A Point of Departure

'Calyx', printed linen furnishing fabric by Lucienne Day for Heals & Son Ltd., British, 1951, T.329:3-1000. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

This post was written by Joanna Weddell, AHRC CDA Disseminating Design, Centre for Research and Development, University of Brighton and Research Department, the Victoria & Albert Museum. This post is prompted by a curious caption and photograph in a press cuttings file on one of the major exhibitions of the V&A Circulation Department, English Chintz: English […]

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History of Design: The New Term Has Started!

V&A/RCA History of Design students and staff at Ironbridge, photographer: Katrina Royall.

by Christine Guth and Simona Valeriani   The new term has started! The first year cohort of 24 students on the V&A/RCA History of Design MA programme has arrived. These students from 8 countries have joined the second year and MPhil, PHD students already enrolled on the course. After introductions to the spaces, the people […]

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Talking Heads

Malcolm Baker in the White  Drawing Room at Waddesdon Manor. Photograph by Katherine Elliott, 2014

An Object Lesson with Malcolm Baker   As we walked from the beautiful red ante chamber to the white drawing room, the sun came through the clouds and gently lit the eight striking faces of Alexander Pope.     It was in this rather magical setting that Curator, Professor, Art Historian and V&A Honorary Senior […]

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In The Buff

English leather buff coat, 1640-1650, t.34-1948. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The Military Buff coat: A haptic experience During my time as an MA student on the V&A/RCA History of Design course I came across a word, haptic, that has fascinated me ever since. Both its sound when spoken and its meaning have resonated with me since I first heard the word and has often shaped my […]

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