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Frontispiece to 1620 version of 'Don Quixote' NAL: Dyce 2000. ©V&A Museum.

Searching for Don Quixote in the NAL

In Spain, there are efforts afoot to discover the exact location of the grave of one of the country’s greatest writers, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Despite the instant popularity of his masterpiece ‘Don Quixote’, he died in poverty and was buried somewhere in the Convent of Trinitarians in Madrid, but the exact location is unknown.  […]

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Florence pushing a trolley of objects through the gallery

To the left, to the left: Installation Part 2

Can a display exist without objects? (One of the big philosophical questions of our time). I think not. So with the cases clean, loan objects condition checked and labels installed, we were ready to embark on the most exciting part of the process: installing the objects! This involved lots of trips back and forth from […]

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Curator Rebecca Wallis stands on a stepladder cleaning the wall case

Stepladders, Spode and a Squeegee: Installation Part 1

The time has come to install the Blue and White display! Last week we said goodbye to the previous Gallery 146 show of Simon Carroll’s work, which has now been shipped off to the Ruthin Craft Centre in Wales. This has left the gallery empty and ready for us to start creating a mesmerising world […]

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Wallpapers on the V&A Spelunker

The V&A Spelunker

Hello, and a Happy New Year to you! I’m George Oates, director of a small London design firm called Good, Form & Spectacle. As part of our ongoing research practice, we’ve made a new toy to help you explore the wondrous Victoria and Albert Museum’s catalogue, the V&A Spelunker. Thank you very much to Kati […]

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Shop front of Merchant & Mills store in Rye

Modern markets for traditional techniques

Indian textiles have long held great appeal to European consumers; so much so that in the 17th Century the Indian textile industry were seen as a direct threat to British textile manufacture.  This resulted in the ban of textile imports from India and in turn gave rise to a lively trade in smuggled chintz.  Since […]

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Casket with saints and other figures, carved ivory on wood, painted and gilt, possibly Sicily or Southern Italy, c.1100-1200. Museum no. 603-1902 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Making Connections

As a student at the Courtauld Institute of Art my perception of the V&A’s collections is often shaped by my art historical studies. Over the last couple of years I have experienced the museum both as a student and as a volunteer. I have been volunteering as a Welcoming Ambassador at the V&A for a […]

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Crookes Radiometer, Image by Lina Hakim

All work and no play makes the museum a dull place?

by Grace Bremner   “[W]e learn by interacting with bits of the world even when our words for how these bits work are inadequate.” -Davis Baird   All work and no play makes the museum a dull place. Or so Lina Hakim would have us believe through her latest seminar in the History of Design […]

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PARROT CUP
Silver-gilt, diamonds
Emden, Germany, ca. 1620
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.59:1,2-2008

Personal Favourites: installing beautiful creatures

This week my colleagues and I installed some extraordinarily beautiful, dazzling, precious pieces from the Gilbert Collection of silver in the V&A Whiteley Silver Galleries as part of the display Personal Favourites: Gold and Silver from the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection. While installation was in full flow, a mother walked along the gallery with […]

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Clement VII

Save the Wolsey Angels – Director’s Circle exclusive object handling session

Focus On… The Wolsey Angels and Early 16th – Century Sculpture Director’s Circle members were given an exclusive object handling session exploring the art-historical context of the Wolsey Angels. Members joined Director, Martin Roth, and the Keeper of Sculpture, Metalwork, ceramics and Glass, Paul Williamson at this unique behind-the-scenes event to understand the Angels in […]

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Plate
Made in Staffordshire, about 1810-1820
	Mark: imitation of a Chinese emblem, printed in blue
Lead-glazed earthenware
55-1870

‘Here be Dragons’

This is one of the most striking pieces of ceramics that will be in the forthcoming V&A display Blue and White: British Printed Ceramics   The dragon on this earthenware soup plate appears to be swirling in the air ferociously grasping a flaming shell-like object in its claws. It is highly unlikely the decorator of this object […]

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