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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V&A Illustration Awards 2017 Shortlist

With just over two weeks to go before the winners are announced, the judges of the 2017 V&A Illustration Awards have whittled down the entries from nearly a thousand to just three in each category. On the 16th of May we’ll find out the winners of the awards for:

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Lustrous Surfaces collaborative conservation project

Mr Yang working on mother-of-pearl replacements

Dana Melchar, Senior Furniture Conservator Currently, the Victoria & Albert Museum is preparing for an exciting display opening on 1 October 2017 entitled ‘Lustrous Surfaces: Lacquer in Asia and Beyond’. The display will focus on Asian lacquer and lacquer-inspired European objects within our permanent collection and will include objects made in Burma, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, […]

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Battlefield to Boudoir: The Costumes of Adam Ant

Ahead of Adam Ant’s 2017 “Anthems” tour, Archive Assistant, Lynn Wood, gives an introduction to the Adam Ant costume collection in the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance. Musically 1980 was a somewhat eclectic year; mainstream pop acts such as Captain and Tennille vied for chart places with punk band The Clash, glam icons Queen and […]

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Design Archives Online and the Plastics Age

Harrison & Sons 'Promenade' laminate sample, Jacqueline Groag

By Ruth de Wynter, Project Assistant, Design Archives Online One of the pleasures of working on the Jewish émigré designers project has been exploring the wonderful array of work they produced across disciplines and  threads and themes that emerge; they may have been friends or colleagues (Hermann Hecht was Hans Schleger’s assistant and Jacques Groag […]

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Under the Skin of the Spirit of Gaiety – Part 3

Figure 1: The Spirit of Gaiety (S.2630-1996)

  This series of blog entries is about the scientific examination of the gold finish of the Spirit of Gaiety, the angel which once graced the dome of the Gaiety Theatre in London.   Elemental analysis* In my last blog I showed you what the layer structure of the Spirit of Gaiety looks like under […]

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Culture in Crisis

Photograph of an arch and colonnade, Palmyra, Syria

‘Culture has moved to the front-line of wars and conflicts, both as collateral damage and as a direct target. When armed conflict, intentional destruction and looting damage or destroy cultural heritage, peace and security are simultaneously threatened.  Efforts to curb this scourge include elevating the importance of culture, heritage and identity through dialogue and education, […]

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Lansbury Micro Museum- This Wall Talks…

  At the beginning of this month we had the pleasure of hosting artists Laurie Nouchka and Tullis Rennie at Chrisp Street Market in Poplar, East London as they worked with local residents to produce a new audio-visual artwork for the V&A’s Lansbury Micro Museum. The artists’ ongoing collaborative project Walls On Walls aims to celebrate […]

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Serendipity: Finding Henry VII at Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill

  Serendipity: the faculty of making happy and unexpected discoveries by accident       (from the Concise Oxford Dictionary) One of the great pleasures of volunteering at the V&A is that the more you learn about the museum’s collection, the more unexpected links you find that connect different objects, artists and designers. How delightful then, on a […]

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Back to the Future: revisiting Richard Redgrave’s condition reports

The case and van transporting the Raphael Cartoons from Hampton Court to South Kensington in May 1865. Photo: Anon. (Museum No. 44413)

Clair Battisson, Senior Preservation Conservator Louise Egan, Condition Report Liaison There have been several previous articles and comment made on what is thought to have been an early use of a photographic image in checking and monitoring the condition of an object at the Victoria & Albert Museum (formerly known as the South Kensington Museum). […]

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Inspiring the next generation of designers with the V&A’s DesignLab Nation

The principles of design should form a portion of any permanent system of national education. So recommended the 1836 Select Committee on Arts and their Connection with Manufactures. Sir Henry Cole was even more blunt: “Straight lines are a national want”, he wrote. And, “unless you begin with the child and teach him the ABC […]

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