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

Back to the blog front page

‘A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Prints’ – A Review

‘A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Prints’ is an ambitious exhibition. It sets out to explore the complex issues of gender identity, social status and sexual relationships in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868). It surpasses these objectives and provides a forum for discussion on gender identity and non-hetronorm ideologies. The exhibition’s title ‘A […]

Keep reading

The Cabinet of Curiosities: Reflections on modern art historical thinking

Portrait of Elias Ashmole

If you, like me, are curious about cabinets of curiosity, the inaugural Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Lecture on the history of collecting was a key date. Given by esteemed art historian and authority on the history of collecting, Professor Paula Findlen, it was South Kensington’s hottest ticket. If you were disappointed not to get one, […]

Keep reading

How The Eagle Slayer got to Bethnal Green

‘One of the most important specimens of the British School of Sculpture’ If you’ve ever visited the vast Marble Floor of the V&A Museum of Childhood, you may have noticed a rather pale gentleman stood near the café. Lunging back, with a bow poised and ready to shoot, he’s no ordinary visitor to the Museum […]

Keep reading

Sheila Hicks: Material Voices – A Review

Review of Sheila Hicks: Material Voices  exhibition at the Textile Museum of Canada. This is a stunning exhibition, which plays with the themes of memory, contrast and space. Upon entering the exhibition the visitor is struck by the circular nature of the display space, which mirrors Sheila Hicks’s own cyclical treatment of her work. A video introduces […]

Keep reading

Animating history

Fig.2. Groenmarkt, The Hague, ca.1860.

Fly through time and space with two new animated films from artist and V&A Museum photographer, George Eksts. The films provide spectacular and unfettered access into two 19th-century table-top tableau of a masquerade ball (Groot Gemaskerd Bal) and a food market (Groenmarkt), published by H.L. van Hoogstraten in The Hague, around 1860 (Museum No. Gestetner […]

Keep reading

Maria Graham: trailblazer and peepshow maker

Within the hundreds of captivating paper peepshows newly acquired by the National Art Library from the Gestetner Collection, there is one peepshow whose story and splendour, I feel, eclipses all the rest. Handmade and painted in watercolour, ‘View from L’Angostura de Paine in Chile’[i], ca.1835 (fig.1), is as intriguing as it is beautiful. This humble […]

Keep reading

New acquisition: Portrait of Charles Bedford as an infant

Portrait of Charles Bedford as an infant by Francis Hayman

The Museum recently welcomed a very exciting new acquisition to its fine art holdings – a portrait of Charles Bedford as an infant by the artist Francis Hayman, painted in 1744 or 1745. Perhaps not as famous as his contemporary Hogarth or his pupil Gainsborough, Hayman was an important figure in the art world in […]

Keep reading

Standing tall: Size matters

A review of ‘Standing tall: The curious history of men in heels’ at the Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto. Who would’ve thought that a few inches could be so significant, but in the case of men’s heels it appears that size really does matter. ‘Standing tall: The curious history of men in heels’ is a thought-provoking exhibition at the […]

Keep reading

Unwrapping Christmas at the V&A Museum of Childhood

“Christmas, I always look upon as a most dear happy time, also for Albert, who enjoyed it naturally still more in his happy home, which mine, certainly, as a child, was not. It is a pleasure to have this blessed festival associated with one’s happiest days. The very smell of the Christmas Trees of pleasant […]

Keep reading

Back to School at the V&A Museum of Childhood

Between buying new shoes, digging out the school uniform and re-setting body clocks, we recommend adding a museum visit to spark a conversation during your family’s back-to-school preparations. Reality is setting in…the summer holidays are drawing to a close, new pencil cases and football boots are being bought, child care logistics and pick-ups are being […]

Keep reading