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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Open Week in the Ceramics Residency Studio

Showcave, Bethan Lloyd Worthington

The Open Week marks the end of artist Bethan Lloyd Worthington‘s six month residency in the Ceramics Collections. The studio will be cleared for a display of new work, fragments and plans for future projects exploring landscape and place.

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Drawing is Thinking on a Page

The V&A’s collections offer amazing opportunities for school students to develop research and drawing skills. Here’s a recent article I wrote for AD Magazine (Spring 2017, Issue 18, published by the National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD), that tells you more… A sketch by Sir Joseph Paxton of the structure that housed the […]

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People, Places and Things: New Models for Collections-Based Research

A ‘parliament of things’ holds court in an anatomical theatre, precious paintings are suspended for all to see in a giant mirrored bowl, migration histories and scientific mysteries are painstakingly teased out of 300 year-old woven silk and metal – museum research is more adventurous than ever and the inaugural symposium of the V&A Research […]

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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, […]

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Tom Hammick, winner of the V&A Prize at the International Print Biennale, Newcastle, 2016

The V&A has collected the best of contemporary printmaking since its foundation and now has an internationally renowned collection of modern and contemporary prints. For this reason the V&A has been closely involved with the International Print Biennale in Newcastle since it was established in 2009. The biennale is the largest printmaking event in the […]

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Regional Art Auction House Sale Catalogues in the National Art Library

The National Art Library collects catalogues from the world’s major auction houses as well as others that cover the collections of the V&A Museum. Art auction houses mirror the developments and trends in the art collecting world, changing focus, subjects, locations and identity. Sotheby’s Belgravia was opened to meet the demand for Victorian paintings and furniture […]

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The Guardian Angel of Theatreland: A History of the Spirit of Gaiety

Figure 1 - The Spirit of Gaiety, Hibbert C. Binney, 1904. Museum no. S.2630-1996.

As a team of conservators begin work on restoring the Spirit of Gaiety statue on display at the V&A Museum, Rosie Vizor from the Department of Theatre and Performance uncovers the history of the statue and the theatre on which she stood. The magnificent Spirit of Gaiety statue has been in the care of the […]

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Toilet Talk: Looking for non-gender-specific toilets?

Greeting you at a door multiple times a day, whether at work or in public buildings, you’ll no doubt be very familiar with these two anonymous figures. Clear and easily recognisable, they are the symbols frequently used to demarcate gender-specific toilet facilities. Over the years a number of places have played with the design of […]

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Lubna Chowdhary announced as next V&A Ceramic Resident

We are delighted to announce that Lubna Chowdhary will be the next V&A Ceramics Resident during the period April to September 2017. Lubna has been working in the field of ceramics for over 25 years during which time, the nature and application of her work has moved between sculpture, design and craft. Her projects are largely […]

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Under the Skin of the Spirit of Gaiety – Part 1

Figure 1 - The Spirit of Gaiety, Hibbert C. Binney, 1904. Museum no. S.2630-1996.

Many of you may have had a glimpse of the Spirit of Gaiety statue from the Painting Galleries (Figure 1): it is a very large, carved and gilded angel blowing a trumpet, originally designed for the dome of the Gaiety Theatre in London and erected there in 1904 (Figure 2). Although any visitor can view […]

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