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Garnitures: What a difference a vase makes!

Five-piece garniture, porcelain, Jingdezhen, China, circa 1695,

It isn’t often museum curators have a chance to explore historical decorative schemes using vase sets to research the history of ceramic display, taste and patronage (unless you work for the National Trust). Vase sets, also known as ‘garnitures’ (ie. to garnish or adorn furniture or interiors), come to life when displayed on furniture or […]

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Garnitures : Discovering the Joy of Sets!

Five-piece garniture, porcelain, Jingdezhen, China, circa 1695,

The idea for the display Garnitures: Vase Sets from National Trust Houses has been brewing in my head for almost two decades. Ceramic scholars describe matching sets of vases as ‘garnitures’, vessels that ornament or adorn (‘garnish’) a specific location, such as a chimney or the top of a cabinet. I was researching the history […]

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Free Workshop – Digital Print for Fashion and Interior Design

Neuberg_Vasarely Blend 2

Calling all young designers! If you are thinking of starting a career or heading into further study in creative arts, a new V&A programme will help you build a portfolio, meet professionals and gain new skills to start your journey. Join us this weekend, get creative and share your ideas with us.     The […]

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Too Much Is Not Enough: Attitudes Toward Accumulation and Hoarding in Japan

One of Dr. Gygi’s hoarding subjects in Tokyo. © Fabio Gygi, 2014

by EVE ZAUNBRECHER The popularity of reality TV shows such as Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive have introduced hoarding into popular culture and have raised interesting debates about rampant consumerism and the politics of mental health disorders. Hoarders, once dismissed as ‘pack rats’ or ‘messies’, have now been located on the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder spectrum […]

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

NorthCourtSMALL

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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By George!

When the latest addition to the British Royal family was named last year, most reliable sources on royal affairs associated Prince George’s name with two illustrious predecessors: his great, great-grandfather, George V, who founded the House of Windsor; and Colin Firth, who played George VI in ‘The King’s Speech’. There is, however, another important George […]

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Searching for the Perfect Match: A trip to Houghton Hall

Both the greatest opportunities and the greatest challenges that the William Kent exhibition presents are in recreating within a museum setting a sense of Kent’s designs for grand and influential spaces. Unlike many of his predecessors, Kent did not just devise buildings, or only paint ceilings, or exclusively design furniture, or solely landscape gardens; instead, […]

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A Staycation in Chiswick

Last weekend I took something of a busman’s holiday and trundled along the District line to Chiswick House. Chiswick brings together two important figures in William Kent’s life: Lord Burlington, Kent’s long-time patron and friend; and Andrea Palladio, the sixteenth-century Venetian architect. As I mentioned last time, Burlington and Kent met in Italy, where they […]

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Gilty Pleasures

If there was one thing that that William Kent was good at, it was gold. Actually he was good at many things, but he approached gilding with a taste or ‘gusto’ that, quite literally, dazzled his contemporaries. Kent’s love of gold can be traced back to the years he spent in Italy as a young […]

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V&A’s Frank Lloyd Wright room on view at Tate Britain

By Christopher Wilk, Keeper, Furniture, Textiles & Fashion Department. In an installation commissioned for Tate Britain’s major Kurt Schwitters exhibition, the artist Adam Chodzko has reconfigured the V&A’s Kaufmann Office designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  Designed in 1937, the office was used by Edgar Kaufmann in his Pittsburgh department store until his death […]

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