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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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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Bookplates

Bookplates, also called ex libris, have been pasted to the inside front covers of books since the advent of the printing press in the mid-fifteenth century. Though they were also used in public libraries, I find these small printed works most interesting when they are used by individuals to assert ownership over their prized works […]

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Horsing Around

This week we are celebrating Chinese New Year, ringing in the Year of the Horse. The recent acquisition of Joey has put all at the V&A in a rather horsey mood, providing The Factory yet again with the perfect opportunity to search through the Word and Image collection, and pull out some of our finest […]

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Burns Night

It is soon to be Burns Night, providing The Factory with the perfect opportunity to dig out some of the best Caledonian-related objects in our collection, and provide a little party inspiration. Burns Night is a delicious celebration held on the25th January, celebrating the life and works of the Scottish poet Rabbie Burns. The merriment […]

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