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.

Back to the blog front page

The Guard Book Project – Photographic Styles and Techniques : A Snapshot of Change

10 Iinch by 8 inch plate camera by Bukre & James

Photographic Style & Techniques : A Snapshot of Change 1930 – 49 The current sequence of this digitisation project involves the pages of the Guard Books 1930 – 1949, and it has enabled us to look some of the differences, or indeed, the similarities of the process of photographing an object, during this period as compared […]

Keep reading

The Guard Book Project

Portrait of a female by Raphael, pencil drawing, said to be the model for his Madonnas

This project is the digitisation of The Guard Book Archive of Black & White Photographs taken by the Museum between 1856 – 1997. First of all what is a Guard Book?, other terms could be, an Album, Store Book, Scrapbook, Folder, Guard Box, the list could go on, but one word is important, the word Guard, to […]

Keep reading

Art Auction Catalogue Price Lists

The art market is a financial market. In 2015 it was worth about £41 billion, with around half of that going through public auctions. Prices go up and prices go down but it is a truism that art follows money. A random example, a Malevich self portrait. Bought for £163,000 in 2004 at Christie’s and subsequently sold for […]

Keep reading

Challenges of treating a Mosquito drop tank

Janna Mostert and Nigel Bamforth adhering Reemay with hide glue

Dr Nigel Bamforth, Senior Furniture Conservator Janna Mostert, Furniture Intern In preparation for the ‘Plywood: Material of the Modern World’ exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Furniture and Wood Conservation Studio treated an auxiliary aviation ‘drop’ tank, a supplementary fuel tank carried by aircraft, loaned by the de Havilland Aircraft Museum for display […]

Keep reading

Family fun: the design secrets behind Secret Seekers

This is a glimpse into the design process behind Secret Seekers, the V&A’s new game for families, starting with a three day onsite ‘Creative Sprint’ at the V&A and ending at the glamorous launch of the new Exhibition Road Quarter on a balmy June evening. A great game starts with a great brief and the […]

Keep reading

Heaven in hand

Heaven in hand by Silvia Weidenbach: V&A Gilbert Collection Resident Inspired by the phenomenal treasures of the Thurn und Taxis Collection, Regensburg As artist in residence I am working on the idea of a jewel casket for our time. To do so, I take inspiration from the past. Over the past weeks I have explored […]

Keep reading

‘Unsurpassed Genius’: Godfrey Sykes and the Royal Albert Hall

terracotta cast

  This is one of a series of blog posts by students of the V&A/RCA History of Design MA programme, to accompany the ‘Building the Royal Albert Hall’ display at the V&A in Room 127 (the entrance to the Architecture Gallery) until 7 January 2018. It is written by Ruth Sykes.       Godfrey Sykes […]

Keep reading

Fifty shades of hay: the sketchbook of George Robert Lewis

I recently catalogued an unassuming brown leather sketchbook which turned out to contain a wealth of beautiful drawings documenting agricultural work in the British countryside, including haymaking and harvesting. As we’re approaching harvest time I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share this hidden gem. The title page of the book is signed […]

Keep reading

100 years of loans: The V&A and The Bowes Museum

From April to July 2017, The V&A loaned two paintings and three prints to the Bowes Museum, County Durham for their exhibition Painting the Stage: Garrick In Action. Assistant Curator, Harriet Reed, visited the museum to find out more about our regional loans programme and the two museums’ historic relationship. A visit to the Bowes […]

Keep reading

Mattering: Richard Redgrave and the curious practice of drawing on museum objects

Detail of Condition Report: encountering the museum-object, Simon Fleury, 2016.

Simon Fleury, Senior Preservation Conservator ‘Delicate things become objects late on: That is what they have in common with numerous seemingly self-evident things that only mature to the point of conspicuity once they are lost.’1 Richard Redgrave, the first curator of the South Kensington Museum (SKM) as the Victoria & Albert Museum was then known, […]

Keep reading