The Factory Presents…

We are a group of cataloguers, photographers, curators and volunteers, nicknamed ‘the Factory’. We are working through the stored collections of the Prints, Designs, Photographs, Paintings and Digital Art sections of the Word and Image department at the V&A, making sure that images and existing data about the items we hold are available to the public via Search the Collections.

These posts are about the objects we come across during our work cataloguing, photographing and curating the Word and Image collections of Prints, Designs, Photographs, Paintings and Digital Art currently in store at the V&A. Anything you see here is available to view in the Prints and Drawings Study Room.

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Black and white photograph of Stonehenge showing the Heel Stone.

Summer Solstice at Stonehenge

The 21st June marked the summer solstice – an event hailing the longest day of the year and (hopefully!) the start of summer – which is celebrated across much of the northern hemisphere at this time of year. One of the most iconic midsummer festivals takes place in the United Kingdom at the ancient monumental […]

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The Alternative Chelsea Flower Show

Today marks the start of the Chelsea Flower Show and if, like me, you missed out on one of the 157,000 tickets to this highly popular event (or even if you’re one of the lucky ones!), I thought this was the perfect opportunity to explore the incredible collections of all things botanical that we have […]

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St. Patrick’s Day

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 […]

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Merry March Hares and Rabbits

Humans have depicted rabbits and hares for thousands of years. Rabbit-like creatures feature in 7,500-year-old rock paintings found in Baja California; they are also prevalent in ancient Egyptian paintings and are often found on Grecian urns. The Museum’s Prints, Drawings and Paintings Collection contains an array of images of rabbits and hares covering many of […]

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Pancake Day

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 […]

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Paw Prints

The start of Crufts at the end of this week seemed like the perfect excuse to search the Prints, Drawings, and Paintings collection for a selection of works featuring the nation’s most popular pet. Sadly, I couldn’t find any images of dogs playing flyball or competing in heelwork to music (doggy dancing, that is), but I’m […]

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Happy Birthday Honoré!

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 […]

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Under the Sea

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 […]

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London Fashion Week

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 […]

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Victorian Valentines

Are you looking forward to Valentine’s Day? I ask because this is one of the few holidays the mention of which is as likely to be met with a snort of derision as a sigh of anticipation. As Valentine’s Day is often accused of being a so-called ‘Hallmark holiday’, invented (or at least perpetuated) by […]

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