Research

Research is a core activity of the V&A, and it grows out of our original commitment to advancing the arts and sciences that shape the world around us. The Research Department works with experts throughout the Museum and a wide range of external partners in increasing access to and understanding of the collections in our care, helping to make the world’s oldest and largest museum of art and design a leading centre for object-led learning at the interface between history, theory and practice.

The Research section of the V&A blog will offer progress reports and provocations, sneak previews and glimpses behind the scenes, from people working on and in our collections.

Image: Pair of suede shoes, made in England, 1950s. X-ray image by Paul Robins, Object Number T.12-1990. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Back to the blog front page

Moda Italiana two volumes on Glamour of Italian Fashion Research bookshelves, Research Department. Lucia Savi, 2014

La Moda Italiana and the Glamour of Italian Fashion

  Part of my job here at the V&A’s research department, besides working as a research assistant on the exhibitions “The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014” and “Shoes: pleasure and pain”; is to promote and undertake new research as well as to engage with audiences and colleagues from across the world. One of the ways of […]

Keep reading
Photo of Film poster, My Architect (2003).

Louis Kahn: the architect’s architect?

The American architect Louis Kahn (1907-1974) is often described as ‘the architect’s architect’. This was how he was introduced to an audience gathered at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) yesterday evening for a special screening of the film My Architect, a documentary made by Kahn’s son Nathaniel, first released in 2003. As the President […]

Keep reading
Entrance to the Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibition, Barbican.

The Uncanny World of John Paul Gaultier

On a recent research trip to the Barbican I had what was both a fascinating and rather uncomfortable experience visiting the Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: from the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. The opening text for the exhibition does much to hint at the unique world you are about to walk into. Gaultier is […]

Keep reading
Glass, the stem twisted and tooled with incorporated white and red threads, produced in the Netherlands, 17th Century, C.135-1956. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The Researcher’s Struggle

Post written by Michael McShane – Work Experience Report 23rd – 27th July 2014 Spending a week of work experience in the research department of the Victoria and Albert museum has certainly been a new experience for me, and an enriching insight into what goes on behind the scenes at one of the most prestigious […]

Keep reading
Hippies and their horse at the first festival

The V&A and Glastonbury Festival – Sounds bizarre?

If you search the V&A’s collections for ‘Glastonbury’ you get an earthenware bowl, a woollen coat, a pair of chairs by the great 19th-century designer Pugin and some atmospheric photographs of the ruined Abbey. No famous musicians, no maps of stages and loos, no protest posters, no wellies, no mud. All that is about to […]

Keep reading
Marni box, with ‘MARNI’ label

To Keep or not to Keep

As the Research Department Administrator it is not often that I get the opportunity to delve into the depths of the V&A stores but I recently had the chance to do just that in the old Textiles and Fashion stores. Lucia Savi and Luisa Coscarelli, the Research Assistant and Intern on the Glamour of Italian […]

Keep reading