Tag: National Art Library

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Brachycombes by Geoge Brookshaw

Every Lady Her Own Drawing Master

One of the main pleasures of taking up a hobby is surely acquiring all the necessary equipment, preferably new, with everything matching and on a professional scale. Women taking up watercolour painting in 1797 obviously felt the same “Every lady who has a taste for painting, furnishes herself with a box of colours, probably eighteen, […]

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John Constable

Your Affectionate Father John Constable

In 1828 John Constable found himself a widower with seven young children. Apart from his own sorrow at the death of his beloved wife Maria, a blow from which he never really recovered, he must also have had to deal with the grief and loss faced by his offspring. As a comparatively well off single […]

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(c) Victoria & Albert Museum

I’m Sure I’ve Seen that Library Before…

Those of you who have used the National Art Library’s reading rooms, or who may even be sitting in them as you read this, will not have failed to notice how beautiful they are.  Built between 1876 and 1884, the reading rooms were one of the show cases of the South Kensington Museum (now V&A), […]

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Rose Frain's studio

Rose Frain’s installation This Time in History, What Escapes (2014-1914)

This Time in History is my overall, continuing art project, so when Elizabeth James, Senior Librarian at the V&A National Art Library invited me to create a small installation to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War, I was delighted. A very exciting remit: in the two vitrines on the Library […]

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How to dress like a lady

‘How to dress on £15 a year as a lady by a lady’ was published by Frederick Warne in 1873. It was one of series of pocket sized “Useful Books” and cost a shilling. In the introduction, a Lady, actually Millicent Whiteside Cook, author of several books on economy, has no illusions about her work […]

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Survey created using SurveyMonkey

The results are in…

  We would like to thank all of the hundreds of people who completed the National Art Library’s recent user satisfaction survey. Each year there are around 35,000 visits to our Library, while many more people use our online services including making enquiries, placing copying orders, consulting subject guides and looking at ebooks. The information gained from […]

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Photograph of Ian Fleming

Ian Fleming : Bibliophile

Ian Fleming died fifty years ago on 12 August 1964, succumbing at the age of 56 to what he termed the ‘Iron Crab’ of heart disease, after a life spent with the same intensity as his enduring hero James Bond. The character shares most of his creator’s enthusiasms – cocktails, casinos, the Caribbean, scrambled eggs, […]

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Quite a long reading list to get through!  © Victoria and Albert Museum

Lost in a good book

One of the best resources at the V&A is the National Art Library, a major public reference library for the fine and decorative arts. The library collections are also spread across the Museum’s departments and I am fortunate to have access to a wealth of relevant texts in the Ceramics Section Library relating to the […]

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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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Getting to Know You: National Art Library Reader Survey

The National Art Library is freely available to anyone who wants to use its resources: other than the need to show some identification, all are welcome without restriction. Generally speaking, our users are students, academics, art market professionals and the V&A’s staff but every day brings new faces to the reading rooms. So, how does […]

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