Museum of Childhood

Welcome to the Museum of Childhood on the V&A Blog. Read our latest news, follow our exciting projects and learn more about our collections and activities.

The V&A Museum of Childhood is located in London’s Bethnal Green. vam.ac.uk/moc

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Ready, set, BAKE! At the Museum of Childhood.

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The Great British Summer is finally underway, which means it’s time to enter the tent once again and enjoying a season of master bakes and show-stopping cakes. That’s right, it’s time once again to welcome the Great British Bake Off back on to our screens. We thought we’d whet your appetite for the baking escapades […]

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Telling stories and drawing life – Indian Warli Community projects at the V&A Museum of Childhood

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“Our history is not written, it is drawn: we tell you stories, we tell you about our life.” Jivya Soma Mashe. The current exhibition on display in the Museum’s Front Room Gallery greets you with sunny yellow walls and delicate lace-like paintings, but it’s the stories behind the art that have inspired friendship and learning […]

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New acquisition: Moon Shoes

Pair of moon shoes, unknown manufacturer, probably British, 1950s-1960s © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

For regular readers of the V&A blog, this post could appear like a deliberate follow-on from our last space-themed bulletin. I assure you all, this is merely a coincidence and we at the MoC have not suddenly gone mad for all things cosmic. That said, we do have a very good collection of space toys, […]

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New acquisition: LEGO Death Star

Overall view of the Death Star © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

A quick note about a new acquisition made by the MoC this month: a LEGO Star Wars Death Star.     The eagle-eyed and long-remembering among you might remember seeing this object in our War Games exhibition, recently returned to us from Plymouth City Museum after two years on tour. It was shown in the […]

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More Than Meets the Eye: Transformers, me and the MoC

Ironhide, the Autobots' second in command, shown transformed with his 'battle sled'. Museum no. B.105-1994, Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Transformers are alien robots hailing from the planet Cybertron, a metallic world riven by aeons of civil war between Heroic Autobots and Evil Decepticons. The differences between these two factions are absolute: Autobots are peace-loving, kind and curious about humanity; Decepticons are bellicose, authoritarian and contemptuous of other lifeforms. Transformers came to Earth by accident: […]

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Skeleton suits – The Enlightenment’s onesie?

Unknown boy, perhaps Sir Frederick Augustus D'Este (1794-1848). Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum

Restrictive or liberating: skeleton suits have divided opinion since they first appeared in the late 1770s. Developed during the period of Enlightenment as an alternative to miniature versions of adult clothes; their design was informed by the clothing reforms advocated by physician and philosophers John Locke and Jean-Jacque Rousseau. Locke wrote in Some Thoughts Concerning […]

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Swaddling – babies in a tight bind!

Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum. Swaddling band, Italian, white linen, trimmed with whitework, ca. 1590-1600

I thought the task of changing a baby’s nappy was pretty arduous, but recently I have been looking at the babies clothes from 300 years ago and I can only conclude that children and their carers nowadays have never had it so easy! Our stoic forebears didn’t have babygros with quick release snappers or disposable […]

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Fancy dress from page, stage to screen

Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum. 'Fancy Dresses Described, or What to Wear at Fancy Balls' by Ardern Holt  (5th edition) published in England for Debenham & Freebody by Wyman and  Sons 1887

Characters from page, stage and screen have long been a rich source of inspiration for children’s fancy dress. At the V&A Museum of Childhood a whole host of these inspirational fancy dress costumes are now on display. The display has costumes spanning over 90 years and includes a mini Spider-Man outfit complete with foam muscles, […]

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Plastic fantastic – new acquisitions on show

‘Alfie Funghi’ Children’s Desk and Stool Set, designed by Philippe Starck for furniture brand, TOG - ALLCREATORSTOGETHER, 2014. Museum No. B.49-2015.

What does Disney’s ‘Elsa’ fancy dress costume and an orange toadstool desk have in common?  Apart from an awful lot of plastic, they are two of the new acquisitions NOW on display at the V&A Museum of Childhood. Made from bright, durable, synthetic materials, these diverse items reflect the broad range of mass produced items which are marketed at […]

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Hats off to the straw and shellac

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Can you separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to straw hats? Sadly I struggle to, which is why it’s so helpful to have students from the ‘Period Hat’ class at Morley College, London and their tutor Jane Smith come to the V&A Museum of Childhood to study our children’s hat collection with me. During […]

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