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.

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V&A Podcast: Salon II: ‘Europa vs. Britannia’

Valance, Unknown, about 1790, England, Museum no. T.63-1936, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

There is a beautiful timeliness to the ‘What Was Europe?’ Salon series, which was seen particularly in the most recent Salon’s theme: ‘Europa vs. Britannia’. For the title of the Salon, we see ‘Europa’, the name of the goddess from Ancient Greek mythology, famed for her abduction by Zeus in the form of a white […]

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Rut Bryk 1916-1999

2009CA1609_jpg_ds

This post was written by Joanna Weddell, Researcher at the University of Brighton. She is currently completing an AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award entitled Disseminating Design, which examines the regional impact of the Circulation Department in the post-war period 1947-77. To mark the centenary of her birth, this post features the work of Finnish designer and ceramic […]

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V&A Podcast: Salon I: ‘Where was Europe?’

The Globe, installation by the Cuban art collective Los Carpinteros

To celebrate the opening of the new Europe 1600-1815 galleries, the V&A, with the support of the British Academy, is hosting a series of Salon evenings. Leading academics and ‘rising stars’ in research right now have been invited to discuss variations on the overarching theme of the series, the question: “What Was Europe?” The events […]

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A Chemise for Clean Comfort

T.148-1961

Chemise

Unknown
possibly Great Britain
1851
Linen, trimmed at the neck with muslin frill

In a meeting late last week, a colleague was talking about the importance of caring for your clothes, and loving and enjoying a garment for something other than its newness. In Japan, certain traditions fold around their cultural idea that material (and so, by association, clothing) grows more beautiful with age and wear. There is […]

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5…4…3…2…1… The Fabric of India enters its final week

screws

A very Happy New Year to you! It seems like only yesterday that we were scrambling to get the last objects into their cases and put the finishing touches on the displays. Yet somehow three months have already flown by and we are now in our last week. The Fabric of India closes January 10th, […]

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Filming Fifi

Fifi Chachnil holds up a pair of her classic bloomers during filming © Bridget Veal

AV (= Audio Visual – so, this tends to mean film) material has become an expected feature in exhibition design. While we don’t want this material to distract from the objects themselves, film and sound can be a great way to further engage with visitors and add to the exhibition’s mood and atmosphere. With the […]

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When there’s too much to say…

T.114-1939 Riding Corset

As the Curator of Undressed I have spent much of the past month writing the exhibition text. There are 160 object labels, and ten 150 word pieces for the panels which introduce the exhibition and each of its nine sections. Every object in the exhibition has to work hard to justify its presence: it needs […]

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Trying Out Tights

Textiles & Fashion storage at the Clothworkers' Centre, Blythe House  © V&A Collection

It’s been a very busy week full of developments in the design and text for the exhibition. Some of the team spent Thursday morning at the Clothworkers’ Centre at Blythe House. This is where we store our Textiles and Fashion collection, which holds over 104,000 objects. It’s also a brilliant study space in which you […]

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Introducing the Textile Conservation and Mounting team

A silk dressing gown from 1875 (T.193-1984) being assessed © V&A Collection

Hello from the Textile Conservation and Mounting team. If you followed the “Wedding Dress” and “Fabric of India” blogs then you will have met some of us before and you will know all about the Textile Conservation Section here at the V&A. For The “Undressed” Exhibition we have one Textile Conservator, Albertina Cogram, who is […]

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Welcome to the Undressed blog

T.18-1958 Underbust Satin Ribbon Corset, c.1895 © V&A Collection

Welcome to our blog for the V&A’s forthcoming exhibition Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear. As we reach the six month mark in the run up to the exhibition’s opening in April 2016, our team’s preparations are already in full swing. A chance to show some treasures, over 200 objects will be going on display. […]

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