Tag: 1960s

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New acquisition: Brionvega RR126 ‘radiofonografo’


  This radiogram is a musical pet, or at least that’s how it was described when it appeared in Italy in 1966, the product of the imaginations of the Castiglioni brothers, Achille (1918-2002) and Pier Giacomo (1913-1968). It is the Furniture and Woodwork collections’ first acquisition of 2016.   Brionvega produced many cutting-edge audio-visual products […]

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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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Back to Comics & More Disapproval

Sometime soon after the dissolution of my marriage plans I drifted into the Fulham Road Popular Book Exchange and while rummaging found masses of contemporary and old American comics. I opened one of the earliest issues of The Amazing Spider-Man and was instantly hooked. I scoured the Book Exchanges across London and scooped up a […]

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The Beginnings of a Collector

My childhood collection of comic books survived intact until I was poised to start studying architecture at the University of Cape Town. My big problem was; my mother disapproved of the comics. Mom wanted a law passed against grown boys reading comics. My father said that was enough, and mom kept quiet. L Mabusela never […]

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Happy Birthday Mary Quant!

Today Mary Quant, the queen of 1960s London style turns 80. To celebrate the fashion queen’s landmark birthday, we’ve picked out some Mary Quant highlights from our collections. Mary Quant’s boutique, Bazaar, was set up in 1955 on London’s fashionable King’s Road. It was known for its surreal window displays and eclectic mix of clothes, […]

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Jane Dillon: Ahead of the Curve

Here's a pop quiz for you.When was this chair designed? If you guessed 'last year,' Idon't blame you. It's got a fashion-forward pinkness about it, and the combination of circle, curve and triangular wedge has the minimal snap of the latest out of Milan. Or perhaps you went for '1981'?I wouldn't blame you. The chair does look pretty postmodern, and even bears a passing resemblance to Peter Shire's iconic 'Bel Air' chair of that year. Both the mystery chair and Shire's Postmodern design have similarly disjunctive compositions, with curved, angular and round shapes smashed together. They are like almost-accidental masterpieces. …

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From airbrush to felt-tip

It’s unusual for a historian to have the opportunity to look at the complete working methods of a design office. Sketches and models are often thrown away once a project is brought to completion. Before coming to the V&A, I had the chance to write about a design firm that did keep a great deal of its preparatory studies. This was the office of Brooks Stevens, an industrial designer based in Milwaukee. For an exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum I studied renderings, surviving models, and photos that documented the working procedures of the firm. The first thing you notice …

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