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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On the naming of names: Samuel Alken and the acknowledgement of printmakers

Samuel Alken after John Smith. 'Pont-aberglaslyn'. Aquatint. Plate from: William Sotheby. 'A tour through parts of Wales: sonnets, odes, and other poems'

In my last post I introduced the printmaker Samuel Alken (1756-1815), and showed how his work, like that of many illustrators and printmakers, can be hidden in a library’s collection. One of the factors affecting whether a printmaker (or any other contributor) appears in a library catalogue is the prominence with which they are named in a […]

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Meet the Collector!

Ian Rakoff

Dear Cultural Collaborators, Below are the details for my next event at the museum. I’ve seldom tackled the linkage between apartheid and my own psychology. By bringing up old memories, I view the impact of comics and the addiction to collecting in a different light – being put on the spot with questions I feel compelled […]

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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 […]

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Speaking Out – Details from Speakers Corner

The Speakers Corner at the Out for Revolution Friday Late raised the question of: How far have we come in the fight for equality and what are the issues facing the global LGBTQ community now? Visitors were able to hear how a variety of activists continue to challenge contemporary laws and social issues – and […]

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Identification of plastics by looking, touching and smelling

Example of groups of plastics made from melamine formaldehyde and cellulose nitrate

Carien van Aubel Conservation Science intern, University of Amsterdam   Collections with objects dating from the late-nineteenth-century onwards often include a variety of plastics. As there are numerous different types of plastics it would be hoped that specific identification would be stated in the records but it is not easy for those not experienced with […]

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‘Door to Design’ successful take-off with more than 500 school children and over 50 parents.

Linked to the exciting Exhibition Road development to create a new entrance and courtyard for the Museum which is due to open later this year, the V&A’s Learning Department has received funding for the next three years from John Lyon’s Charity to support its programme for Primary Schools and Families.  The grant funds ‘Door to Design’ […]

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A Soupreme Achievement

The Souper Dress, 1966.

    On a recent Friday Late at the V&A, I paid a leisurely visit to the exhibition ‘You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970’. My Bluetooth headset played the haunting sound of an organ, the opening of ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’ by Procul Harum. The exhibition was busy […]

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Chinese New Year 2017: A New Hang of Chinese Paintings in the T.T. Tsui Gallery

Tonight over a billion people will celebrate the eve of the Chinese New Year. Many will have travelled back to their hometowns to be with their families, in humanity’s largest seasonal migration. Celebrations are also taking place across the world among the Chinese diaspora. This global host of revellers will be turned out in new […]

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Priced Art Auction Catalogues in the National Art Library

The National Art Library is home to over 140,000 art auction catalogues from more than 200 art auction houses. It is the largest accessible collection of art auction catalogues in the world. Within this collection thirty per cent remain uncatalogued fully in the priced sequences of Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Foster and Knight, Frank & Rutley. Priced […]

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Thinking and Experiencing ‘Techne’: the Finished Varnishes

Different varnishes

This post was written by second-year student, Rebecca Goozee, one of a group of V&A/RCA History of Design MA students participating in the ‘Thinking and Experiencing Techne’ seminar/lab. The final lab session of the V&A/RCA History of Design MA course’s ‘Thinking and Experiencing Techne’ class took place in the relative comfort of the Blythe House […]

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