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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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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Library Bank Holiday Closures in the Merry Month of May

A reminder to all our users that the National Art Library will be closed for the two bank holiday weekends in May: Closing at 18.30 on Friday 28th April, and re-opening at 10.00 on Tuesday 2nd May. Closing at 18.30 on Friday 26th May and re-opening at 10.00 on Tuesday 30th May. You can order your […]

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Lucie Rie: A Secret Life of Buttons

Reconstruction of a part of Lucie Rie’s Albion Mews studio in Gallery 143.

Lucie Rie stands among the most celebrated studio potters of the twentieth century, and her distinctive modern tableware and ornamental wares in stoneware and porcelain have been widely exhibited and studied. Much less is known about Rie’s early work making buttons in the 1940’s when she arrived in London as a Jewish émigré.   Lucie […]

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Identifying Friends and Enemies in Soviet Russia

The V&A’s display ‘Another Russia: Post-Soviet Printmaking’ features work made by Russian artists after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 when art was no longer strictly controlled by the government. For most of the 20th century, art in Russia was used for propaganda and expressing the ideology of the state. In the 1920s, […]

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Clothworkers’ Fellowship

The author examining carpets in store at Blythe House

Frances Hartog, Senior Textile Conservator In the Victoria & Albert Museum’s collection there is a core of 124 carpets that were on semi-open display for several decades in the Textile Study galleries. Many have a grey cast of surface soiling commonly found on textiles that have been exhibited uncased for several years and will require […]

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Doing their bit for their (adopted) country

"For vitality eat greens”, poster, Hans Schleger, ca. 1942-1944

By Frankie Alves, Archivist, Design Archives Online One of the main tasks of the Design Archives Online project is auditing, which, broadly speaking, means checking that everything in a particular archive is where it’s supposed to be, and that the catalogue description is accurate – and is a great way of getting to know collections […]

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British Theatre and Europe: Past, Present and Future – Part 2

In the second part of the blog, “British Theatre and Europe: Past, Present and Future,” Assistant Curators, Alice Young and Helen Gush, highlight some of the exciting events taking place during the V&A Performance Festival in April 2017. The annual V&A Performance Festival takes place every April celebrating theatre and performance in all their forms, with […]

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British Theatre and Europe: Past, Present and Future – Part 1

Just as the UK begins to re-examine its relationship with Europe, the V&A presents a new way of exploring European history and cultural heritage.  Assistant Curators, Alice Young and Helen Gush, introduce a new European display in the Theatre and Performance Galleries and the upcoming Performance Festival drawing on European themes The new display in the Theatre […]

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