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What Does it Take to Work in a Museum?

Training week for Second Year Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) students [Note: The V&A and a number of other cultural organisations co-supervise several cohorts of CDP students. CDP students are a category of AHRC-funded PhD students, who work closely with both a university and a cultural organisation and are supervised by both.] For four days in […]

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poster

Glastonbury Installation Series: Part 1, Music

On 27 May 2015 the V&A’s installation on the Glastonbury Festival will open in the Jaroslav Fragner Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic. This will be the V&A’s contribution to the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, taking place between 18 and 28 June 2015. The themes of this year’s Quadrennial are music, weather and […]

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Epic Object Disintegration, and Other Tales from the Registered Files

“Director – It is my duty to report the breakage of a Glass Huqa-bowl on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum for the Royal Academy Exhibition of Indian Art.” So begins a letter dated November 21st 1947, explaining a tragic accident that took place while an object was being prepared for exhibition. “At the […]

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Peter Brook

Peter Brook at the V&A

V&A Acquires Personal Papers of Britain’s Greatest Living Theatre Director, Peter Brook “The theatre is the last forum where idealism is open to question: many audiences all over the world will answer positively from their own experience that they have seen the face of the invisible through an experience on the stage that transcended their […]

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New archive subject guide to the India Museum and Indian Collections

Tippoo’s Tiger – a large wooden semi-automaton of a tiger devouring an unlucky European gentleman – is one of the V&A’s most popular exhibits. In the V&A Archive we’ve seen a growing interest in our documentary holdings relating to the history of the India Museum and growth of the Indian Collections. These holdings include acquisition […]

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CIS:4974-1910

Skeletons in the vaults; or, the V&A bone collectors

The Archive’s S.Ex register makes for interesting reading – but not for the reason its suggestive title may have duped us momentarily into thinking! S.Ex (or School Examples) objects were acquired for the V&A’s Circulation Department between 1882 and 1892, and used largely for still life cases, modelling or anatomical study. Of the approximately 1,200 […]

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Photo of Film poster, My Architect (2003).

Louis Kahn: the architect’s architect?

The American architect Louis Kahn (1907-1974) is often described as ‘the architect’s architect’. This was how he was introduced to an audience gathered at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) yesterday evening for a special screening of the film My Architect, a documentary made by Kahn’s son Nathaniel, first released in 2003. As the President […]

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NorthCourtSMALL

It’s a cover-up! Interior design at the South Kensington Museum

Something caught my eye in this old photograph of the V&A’s North Court taken in the late 19th century: The North Court in the late 19th century. Museum no. E.1101-1989. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London You may not recognise this space but you’ll have been in it if you’ve seen any of the V&A’s […]

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David Garrick

Calling all book detectives: Garrick’s Plato

When challenged by an irate David Garrick (1717-1779), the celebrated actor, dramatist and theatre manager, who had discovered that titan of eighteenth-century letters, Dr Johnson (1709-1784), throwing elegantly bound books around his (Garrick’s) private study, Johnson is reputed to have offered this churlish excuse: ‘I was determined to examine your collection and find it consists […]

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International Archives Day: New Art Furniture exhibition 1901 – an ‘exceedingly vulgar show’

Today is International Archives Day (yes, we have our own day!) so I thought I’d use our archives to illustrate one of the more controversial episodes in the V&A’s otherwise long and distinguished history of object collecting and display. ‘An exceedingly vulgar show’ (The Times) ‘Ill-mannered specimens of upstart art … the delirious art of men […]

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