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vincent progress1

Speed Residency update from Vincent Larkin

Vincent is coming to the end of his two week residency slot in the studio, and below he shares his thoughts on his time here, as well as some great photos of his work in progress. * There’s a great deal of energy to this space and the galleries. All of these objects and stories […]

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Style and Satire

INTRODUCING GUEST BLOGGER Sarah Grant, curator in the Word and Image Department at the V&A, and co-author of the  V&A’s new publication Style and Satire: Fashion in Print 1777-1927 Style and Satire tells the entertaining story of European fashion and its most fantastical trends from two interrelated perspectives – the lavish, celebratory fashion plate, and […]

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Q&A with the Legendary Biba Designer Barbara Hulanicki

1. What is your favourite Shop in London and Miami? In Miami I love C Madeline’s, it’s an extraordinary Vintage shop on Biscayne Boulevard. In London it would be Selfridges. 2. Tell us about the Biba outfits that stick out in your mind… The hooded leopard coat we made for Twiggy in the nineteen seventies. […]

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T.361:17-1998; T.361:18-1998; T.361:19-1998; T.361:20-1998 Four accessories for paper dolls; from The History of Miss Wildfire; British; 1832. Card & watercolour.

The History of Miss Wildfire

I have spent part of the morning looking at a very interesting object in the Textiles and Fashion collection. It is a manuscript, written in rhyme, by a girl named Anne Sanders Wilson. She wrote it for her sister, Mary Wilson, in October 1832. It is ten pages long and is inscribed in a precise, […]

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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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Detail from a painting going into the Europe Galleries - 'Witches' Sabbath', oil painitng, Frans Francken (II), Antwerp, 1606 V&A Dyce.3 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Open Books

The passion for reading and collecting books became more widespread during the 17th and 18th centuries. Book collecting could be motivated by the simple pleasure of reading, a love of scholarship or, at times, a desire for pretentious ostentation. Throughout Europe many great private book collections were assembled, a number of which came to form […]

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The Glamour of Italian Fashion Since 1945

The stylish companion, the essential arm candy and the only accessory to be seen with when visiting this stunning V&A exhibition The Glamour of Italian Fashion Since 1945. This lavish book provides a comprehensive look at Italian fashion from the end of the Second World War to the present day. If you haven’t yet been […]

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Sharing Stories for Mother’s Day

Mother’s day is this weekend; a time for family gatherings, and maybe for sharing old favourite stories that have been passed down between generations. It brings to mind a book of old spooky stories we have in the National Art library that was put together by a mother and her son. ‘Legendes Rustique’ was written […]

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Bookplates

Bookplates, also called ex libris, have been pasted to the inside front covers of books since the advent of the printing press in the mid-fifteenth century. Though they were also used in public libraries, I find these small printed works most interesting when they are used by individuals to assert ownership over their prized works […]

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Religious Ceremonies of the World

In a previous post I explained how we have been holding workshops with external specialists. These enable us to draw from a broad spectrum of expertise when focussing on specific areas of the galleries and their development. We recently held another of these workshops, this time focusing on a significant work that was first published […]

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