Posters: stories from the V&A collection

Posters litter our everyday lives and collective cultural memories, making them a rich and compelling form of art and design. These posts are about working with the V&A’s extraordinary collection of posters. We’ll be covering exhibition projects and events, new acquisitions and current bits of research. We will also be linking to interesting poster projects elsewhere and asking a range of guest bloggers to contribute. The collection is international in scope and spans themes of commerce, culture and politics. The V&A was the first major museum to collect posters, acquiring its first examples over a century ago. It remains very much a live collection that we continue to add to and update.

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Plane Stupid Compound Lock-On


Locking-on is a strategy that featured in the Disobedient Objects exhibition. Here we bring you an update on the technique following last year’s action by Plane Stupid  at Heathrow Airport in opposition to a proposed third runway. The tactic of using your body as a blockade has a long political history in acts of non-violent […]

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Dublin Protest Graphics

Protester on the August 29th march, Dublin Quays. (Photo: Eimer Murphy)

The V&A exhibition A World to Win: Posters of Protest and Revolution is currently on display at the National Print Museum in Dublin (17 September – 8 November 2015). In this guest post, Eimer Murphy reflects on her experiences of researching Dublin protest graphics from the Students Against the Demolition of Dublin (S.A.D.D.) to a […]

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POSTERS, POLITICS, PROTEST: British Political Posters


Conference at the People’s History Museum, Manchester Friday 10th October 2014 Join curators, campaigners and designers to explore the significance of the poster to British political debate. Topics will include the history of posters, design as activism, the management and manipulation of billboards, subversions and internet spoofs, and the influence of new media. Which iconic posters […]

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Placards and Pride in Russia

This double-sided placard is one of a series of placards made by radical queer marchers at a protest rally on February 4 th, 2012, where the LGBT flag appeared for the first time at a political demonstration.

Today over 20,000 people will participate in Pride, one of London’s largest events celebrating the LGBT community.  This year organizers have chosen the theme Freedom to…. , an idea closely tied to one of the placards in our exhibition ‘Disobedient Objects’. This placard formed part of a spontaneous 2012 exhibition in Moscow, after President Vladimir Putin’s […]

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‘Our Power is in the Street’. American Posters of the 1960’s

  At University I was instructed to use the internet with caution- fine to look up a date or person on Wikipedia but never cite it as a source or rely on a Google search to provide all the answers. However whilst researching the backgrounds of the modern protest posters for the display A World […]

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Keep Britain Tidy

A new book by Hester Vaizey looks at public interest posters in Britain from the 1940s to the 1970s. It presents a selection of posters from the National Archives giving tips on diet, encouraging people not to smoke and, of course, exhorting them to keep Britain tidy. Governments continue to use posters and billboards to […]

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Posters of the Cuban Revolution

This is a guest post by poster collector Michael Tyler whose collection of Cuban revolutionary posters goes on display for the first time next week in an exhibition at Kemistry Gallery in London. Michael explains what sparked his interest and how the collection developed. ­­I confess, when asked to contribute to the V&A blog about […]

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Floating Posters

dr.d (doctored or subverted) is an artist best known for altering and augmenting billboards. On one level the motivation is simply to disrupt the outpourings of commercial advertisers and provide people with something more stimulating in the visual environment. For many this is a welcome intervention. An email quoted as a testimonial on dr.d’s website […]

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Culture in Defiance: Syria Speaks

An exhibition at Rich Mix this week presents a range of street art from the uprising in Syria. Guest blogger Nawara Mahfoud introduces the role that graffiti plays. The Syrian revolution started with graffiti, a dozen schoolchildren scribbled on the wall of their school, “The people want to overthrow the regime.” Two years on, more […]

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#occupygezi: Protests Progress

As the Gezi Protests in Turkey continued with excitement along with tragedy and police violence, a pantheon of heroes was created by the protestors. Since the protests still continue the list of heroes remains unfinished and new characters are included through popular appeal as the events progress. The digital poster above is an early version […]

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