News and Updates

Take a look at what goes on behind-the-scenes in the world’s leading museum of art and design. From bestselling exhibitions to hidden gems in the collections, learn about our latest projects, ideas and discoveries.

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‘Look up here, I’m in heaven’

'Quietus' at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima), 2012 © Jan Baldwin/Julian Stair.

The opening lines to one of David Bowie’s final songs, ‘Lazarus’, had many thinking that the great musician and performer had written his own epitaph, a public farewell to the world just days before he died. In a world where most pop songs churn out familiar tales of love and heartache, it’s unusual to see […]

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Garnitures: Sets in the City

Five-piece garniture, porcelain, Jingdezhen, China, circa 1695,

Museum displays don’t just happen on their own, they are the collaborative work of many dedicated individuals with very specialized skills. Garnitures : Vase Sets from National Trust Houses has been in the making for almost three years and involved the staff of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Trust. There have been […]

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Garnitures: What a difference a vase makes!

Five-piece garniture, porcelain, Jingdezhen, China, circa 1695,

It isn’t often museum curators have a chance to explore historical decorative schemes using vase sets to research the history of ceramic display, taste and patronage (unless you work for the National Trust). Vase sets, also known as ‘garnitures’ (ie. to garnish or adorn furniture or interiors), come to life when displayed on furniture or […]

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GUEST POST: My Qur’an pendant from Syria

My collection of talismans and amulets  © Victor Borges

Victor Borges is a Senior Sculpture Conservator at the V&A. One day when I was delivering an object to Victor in Sculpture Conservation I noticed he was wearing a chain full of small and curious pendants. Looking at it closer, I suddenly noticed a beautiful small gold pendant in the shape of a Qur’an with Arabic inscriptions. […]

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Garnitures : Discovering the Joy of Sets!

Five-piece garniture, porcelain, Jingdezhen, China, circa 1695,

The idea for the display Garnitures: Vase Sets from National Trust Houses has been brewing in my head for almost two decades. Ceramic scholars describe matching sets of vases as ‘garnitures’, vessels that ornament or adorn (‘garnish’) a specific location, such as a chimney or the top of a cabinet. I was researching the history […]

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Garnitures: Vase Sets From National Trust Houses

Five-piece garniture, porcelain, Jingdezhen, China, circa 1695,

On 11 October 2016, we are opening the first-ever museum display focused on vase sets, also known as garnitures (from Fr. garnir ‘to garnish’). These are primarily ceramic vases with matching decoration designed for display above a chimneypiece, a cabinet and even over doorways. The National Trust has the largest collection of vase sets in […]

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Parallel Worlds – a new videogame design conference

Parallel Worlds

How do the virtual worlds of videogames reflect and augment our reality? With VR headsets hitting the high street and augmented reality sending players hunting through their neighbourhoods 2016 has seen our virtual and physical worlds collide like never before. But what does it mean to design a virtual world? Come join us on Friday 25 […]

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Installation of the ‘Oculus’ – a window into the new Exhibition Road Gallery

Oculus Visual

    Over the past six months, the team has enjoyed watching the construction of the oculus develop and take shape on site. Now that work has completed on the concrete structure, the Exhibition Road building project is ready for bespoke steel and glass elements to be installed, and installation of the Oculus has begun. This eye-catching structure […]

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Martin Roth to leave the V&A in Autumn 2016

Martin Roth, Director

Martin Roth, Director of the V&A since September 2011, has announced to staff today he will leave his role in the Autumn after five years in post. Martin has presided over a succession of critically acclaimed exhibitions, most notably David Bowie is and Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, achieving record visitor numbers, which last year reached […]

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The Making of The Masquerade

A cast in costume filming in front of a green screen

This film takes you behind-the-scenes of The Masquerade interactive film, and the extraordinary group of people that helped create it. Interviews with the participants, the theatre company and V&A staff involved, provide insights into this unique collaboration. We documented the project from the first meeting of the cast to the launch party. The Masquerade is […]

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