Tag: 20th century

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Dialogues in Clay

Toshiko Takaezu throwing closed form. Photo: Stanley Yake

This post was written by Susan Newell, a second-year student on the V&A/RCA MA in History of Design, who works part-time in the V&A’s Ceramics and Glass Department. A diminutive woman stands on a spindly ladder next to the enormous pot she is making. She pinches its rim with one hand, deftly wielding a paddle […]

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Handshake with Helsinki: An encounter with Alvar and Aino Aalto

Interior, Aalto House, Image © Roxanne Ravenhill, 2015.

For a week in spring term, first-year students on the V&A/RCA History of Design MA are liberated from their libraries and seminar rooms to learn on site in some of some of the world’s most design historical cities. This year’s lucky students had the opportunity to choose between visiting Istanbul, which we’ll hear more about in […]

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A birthday treat: 10 facts about Arthur Gilbert!


Arthur Gilbert was born on 16 May 1913 and would have been 102 years old today. To celebrate his birthday I have selected some exclusive images from our archives and compiled a list of ‘fun’ facts which will give you a taste of his extraordinary life and personality. Enjoy! 1. Arthur’s surname at birth was not Gilbert! Son of Lazarus […]

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When the point of support disappears

Set design for Victory Over the Sun produced at the Luna Park Theatre, St. Petersburg, 1913. Italian pencil on paper.

“We can only perceive space when we break free from the earth, when the point of support disappears” Malevich, 1928 manifesto, ‘The Non-Objective World’ Malevich and the artists of the Russian Avant-Garde movement re-invented space. Their explorations and experiments in the world of theatre helped them to develop and articulate their artistic visions and ideas. […]

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St. Theresa of Lisieux

011 face

Today is the celebration of one of Catholicism’s less flamboyant but more popular saints, St. Theresa of Lisieux, commonly known as the ‘Little Flower of Jesus’. Her saintliness is not a result of holy pillows, levitations, stigmata or loyal animal friends, but rather it is because of the quiet, sweet and serious way that she […]

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An Unknown Soldier? The V&A’s First World War Memorial


Simple and solemn in cream Hopton Wood stone, the V&A’s monument to its 1914-18 war dead sits unobtrusively in the main entrance hall. Designed in 1919 by the sculptor and typographer Eric Gill, it was commissioned by the Museum with the dual aims of commemorating the fallen and acquiring an example of Gill lettering. As […]

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