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A Collector of Secrets. Sir Balthazar Gerbier (1592-1663) in cultural diplomacy and the arts

Engraved portrait of Sir Balthazar Gerbier, engraving by J. Meijssens after Antony van Dyck (1599 - 1641);
17th century. Museum no. E.1298-1888 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

  The Middleburg-born Huguenot Balthazar Gerbier (1592-1663) excelled with a vast career spanning from the various arts, the world of diplomacy to that of a courtier and spy. Many scholars have explored various aspects of Balthazar Gerbier’s roles as an artist, collector, scribe, cryptographer, agent, colonist, pamphleteer or architect. Few, however, have brought these activities […]

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Callout for Participation: Sound Out, All of this Belongs to You

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  The V&A belongs to all of us. But what does this really mean? What are the opportunities, obligations and limits to participation in this civic institution? V&A Sound Out, is an experimental, collaborative durational performance, for a group of voices in the V&A Museum working with artist Sharon Gal on Saturday 20 June 2015. […]

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Best laid plans: mapping the V&A by Andrew McIlwraith

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Andrew McIlwraith is a PhD researcher in the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading. His research is funded by the AHRC Design Star Centre for Doctoral Training of which the V&A is a partner.   It’s no secret that the V&A is a complicated building. Even regular visitors may struggle […]

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Fashioning Professionals: Reflections on a Symposium

Gaby Schreiber Industrial/Interior Designer (1916-1991).

Photographer: Bee & Watson, 1948.

Design Council Archive, University of Brighton Design Archives.

  .   Photo: Gaby Schreiber Industrial/Interior Designer (1916-1991), Photographer: Bee & Watson, 1948, Design Council Archive, University of Brighton Design Archives.  What does it mean to be seen and represented as a ‘creative professional’? This was the question we set out to address on Friday 27th March at a symposium hosted by the V&A Research Department […]

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Time capsules, finding the unexpected in buildings and objects. Part 2

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The secret parcel and other discoveries from the Weston Cast Court. In my previous post I described some of the surprising items we found in the museum’s Medieval & Renaissance and British Sculpture galleries. The things that we found were type of messages from the past left by the people who worked in the museum […]

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A Day in the Life on the Exhibition Road Project: Luke Cripps

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Toureen Group are a construction company specialising in demolition and excavation, and we have been solving complex construction problems for over twenty years. We were responsible for removing the 1970s buildings in the V&A’s ‘Boilerhouse Yard’, and we are now undertaking the big ‘dig’ to create the new subterranean exhibition gallery for the Museum. We […]

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From quiet garden to world class gallery: a brief history of the Exhibition Road site

Exhibition Road Gardens

The year is 1899 – The rise of Albertopolis is in full, dramatic swing, and South Kensington is quickly becoming a stronghold for the decorative arts, science and culture in Victorian England. The Natural History Museum sits proudly over Cromwell road, South Kensington tube station is bustling with travellers, and the majestic Brompton Oratory presides […]

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Manners of Building: Architectural Style in England, 1550-1750

Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire, photograph by Mike Harris. CC-BY-SA-2.0

by Melissa Evans, MA candidate, V&A/RCA History of Design Some clichés are ubiquitous. Take ‘Home is where the heart is’ – it’s one of those sayings where, once you start to look, you find it everywhere: from cushions, plates and plaques in gift shops, to sachets of lavender, embroidered samplers and biscuit tins.  These objects, […]

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What’s going on in Exhibition Road?

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Have you walked down Exhibition Road recently and wondered exactly what is going on at the V&A? Why is there a forest of machines towering above the old buildings? The answer is that the V&A is undertaking the biggest building project at the site for over 100 years – and it will completely transform how […]

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Design the World – big ambitions for Sunday afternoons

Design The World session 1 - participant photograph
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Working every day in a storehouse of treasures never tires and neither does thinking of ways to use them in our workshops. Design the World is a project with an ambitious title but it also hints at the potential of the Museum’s collections and connects objects inside the building with the world outside the building. […]

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