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Henry Cole and the Swiney Cup

Dr George Swiney (c.1786-1844) seems to have developed some quirky behaviours in later life; fittingly, perhaps, his Edinburgh University MD thesis had been entitled De Insania [On Madness]. According to the obituary published in The Gentleman’s Magazine (July, 1841) He lived in the greatest seclusion, not going out of doors more than five or six […]

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Hello Exhibition Road – V&A gets set to open new Exhibition Road Quarter designed by Amanda Levete

This month sees the completion of the biggest construction project at the V&A since 1909. Julius Bryant hails the opening of the V&A Exhibition Road Quarter – a new gateway for more than three million visitors and a new hub for cultural collaboration in the twenty-first century Photos Simone Bossi A new public space is […]

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Experiments with Amber: Recreating an Early Modern Varnish Recipe on the History of Design Course

Amber varnish experimental lab class

As part of the V&A/RCA History of Design MA course, during the spring term students have the chance to explore early modern making techniques as a form of historical research through practice.  With the support of V&A curators, conservators and tutors, students recreate early modern recipes to reflect on practices of making and the nature […]

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We Wear Culture – a new virtual fashion experience

18th-century Mantua

Clothes are shorthand for being human Claire Wilcox, 2001 From the fusion of fashion with surrealist art to Vivienne Westwood’s anarchic designs – we’ve collaborated with Google Arts and Culture to unlock the world of fashion with a new virtual experience and a host of online exhibitions detailing the incredible stories behind the V&A’s collections, […]

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New VARI international residency opportunity in partnership with Create London

  The V&A Research Institute (VARI) and Create London are seeking nominations for a four-month residency based at Create’s The White House in Dagenham’s Becontree Estate in East London between October 2017 and January 2018. Nominations can be for contemporary artists, makers and designers of any age and nationality based outside of the United Kingdom. Nominators […]

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NVAP CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF RECORDING PERFORMANCE

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the founding of the National Video Archive of Performance, Jill Evans looks back at how the archive has developed. This May, we fêted Margaret Benton, former Director of the Theatre Museum in Covent Garden, for creating the National Video Archive of Performance (NVAP) and pioneering the art of […]

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Behind the scenes: The V&A Illustration Awards Ceremony 2017

The 2017 V&A Illustration Awards trophy.

The 2017 V&A Illustration Awards were held at the V&A on the 16th of May. Here is a little taste of the night, from the winners, to the Judges and the new V&A Illustration awards display; which can be seen free of charge outside the National Art Library until the 20th of August.   Director […]

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Under the skin of the Spirit of Gaiety – Part 4

Head and bust of the Spirit of Gaiety during its conservation treatment

  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. Raman analysis Over the past few weeks I have been looking at the thick golden paint the covers the Spirit of Gaiety […]

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Code Liberation

Code Liberation arcade at V&A Friday Late, November 2016 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Ever wanted to make an interactive toy or game but not known how? In this workshop series starting July and ending in an exhibition of projects at the Digital Design Weekend as part of London Design Festival, we will teach you everything you need to get off the ground in the world of game design. Video […]

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Printers’ ornaments: documenting the anonymous

One of the books I looked at in my last post was John Ball’s translation of Pierre Gilles’ ‘De topographia Constantinopoleos’[i]. For the purposes of the post I was interested in the etched and engraved illustrations by John Tinney, but I also noticed this charming woodcut: At first sight, you might think it an illustration […]

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