V&A Faces

V&A Faces gives an insight into the everyday lives and opinions of the Front of House Staff. We recount our experiences, secret passions and memorable events, as well giving useful hints and on how to make the most of your visit to the world’s leading museum of art and design.

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Corporeal Porcelain: 399 Days

The title 399 Days imparts the duration of the sculpture’s construction. Through this practical detail, the viewer is made aware of Rachel Kneebone’s corporeal labour. Extending on from the physical nature of its creation, 339 Days tackles the subject of the body, bodily form is represented as incomplete, in a state of transformation. Therefore, the […]

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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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A Soupreme Achievement

The Souper Dress, 1966.

    On a recent Friday Late at the V&A, I paid a leisurely visit to the exhibition ‘You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970’. My Bluetooth headset played the haunting sound of an organ, the opening of ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’ by Procul Harum. The exhibition was busy […]

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“I am so jealous you work here!”

When a visitor says, “I am so jealous you work here”, it can’t get any better than that. The Victoria & Albert Museum is an iconic piece of Victorian, architectural magnificence, housing over 1500 years of impeccable history.  There is no other place like the V&A Museum in the world. From the moment you approach […]

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Visitor Experience at the V&A Open Studios

Good Friday. It’s 06.27 PM. A large security guard stands in front of me. He switches on a tiny torch to do the bag search at the main entrance of the museum. I look at him restlessly; I don’t want to be late. We swap smiles and with a welcoming reception I walk in straight […]

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A Stitch Back in Time

Display: “A Stitch in Time,” Room 116, Metalware, Level 3 For those who have not seen this display, it simply is a must! When I heard about this display, I thought what a good way to learn about my family history, as most of the women (if not all) were Seamstresses by trade. My Nan […]

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My V&A Adventure

Last year, I graduated from the University of Portsmouth, where I studied a degree in Illustration. It was one of the biggest achievements in my life; I had now officially finished education; no more coursework, no more exams, and no more late nights in the library and art studios! A couple of weeks later (after […]

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Libraries: Pleasure & Pain

Anita Capewell, a V&A volunteer working with the Visitor Experience team and in the NAL, follows a trail that begins with a tiny leather bound copy of ‘The Book of the Feet’ in the National Art Library and ends up, via Queen Victoria’s boots, in a galaxy far, far away. As you enter the Shoes: […]

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Blazing an angelic trail

  With the festive season under way and the world facing dark times, what could be better than wandering around the V&A searching for a host of benevolent guardians to keep us safe. And, much as I admire their work, I’m not talking about the security team! The concept of what in modern Britain we […]

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My pain and pleasure – a life in shoes

fabulous shoes

The V&A’s upcoming Shoes exhibition seemed like as good a time as any to reveal a guilty secret – I’m Karin and I’m a shoe-aholic. I should explain that my friends call me Imelda and I have a long history with every kind of shoe you can think of – as I sit here writing […]

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