Tag: women’s history

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The Private Life of Gabrielle Enthoven

Enthoven as a young woman.

In February 1931, the sculptor Una Troubridge wrote an entry in her diary about a dinner party she had hosted that evening with her partner, the novelist Radclyffe Hall. Hall had been embroiled in controversy and notorious legal battles over her banned 1928 lesbian novel, ‘The Well of Loneliness’. Over drinks and dinner, Troubridge records that the […]

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‘A Stitch in Time: Home Sewing Before 1900’

Arm and Platform sewing machine by Edward Ward, c.1875-80. M.44-1991

  A stitch in time, may save nine. First recorded in Thomas Fuller’s Gnomologia, Adages and Proverbs (1732)   The meaning of the ‘stitch in time’ proverb is well known: if you address a small problem with a little work, you prevent it from becoming a big problem requiring a lot of work. It’s probably no […]

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Figure Training

Flexura Boots  ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 “From the earliest periods of the world’s history down to the present day it has been found necessary to employ systems of restraint and correction calculated to adapt the unformed and unfashioned figure”. Figure training or art the handmaid of nature by EDM was published in 1870, partly as a vindication of altering the human […]

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Every Lady Her Own Drawing Master

Brachycombes by Geoge Brookshaw

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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A Boxing Day Wedding

Metal minaudière decorated in faux pearls, 1956

We all need a little glitter come the festive season, and brides are no exception to this rule. As previously explored, winter weddings – preferably made white with snow – offer the opportunity for velvet dresses and fur stoles. The dark days also mean such ceremonies are lit by further candles and lights than their […]

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Bohemian Wrapsody

Invitation to our interview with DvF © V&A Collection

A very special guest will be on her way to the V&A next week. On Thursday 6th November, Diane von Furstenberg is paying us a visit to talk about her ongoing career of over forty years as a leading fashion designer and icon. Diane started her career in fashion design in 1970. Two years later, […]

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Out On Display #2: Eileen Gray, Avant-Garde Designer

Eileen Gray screen

Screen Eileen Gray France (Paris), wood with lacquer, c.1928 W.40-1977 On display in room 135   Born into an aristocratic Irish family, the designer and architect Eileen Gray (1878-1976) lived an unconventional life compared to most women of her time and class. Initially training as a paintre, it was Gray’s visit to the Paris Exposition […]

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Introducing Enthoven

Gabrielle Enthoven

It is now 90 years since Gabrielle Enthoven’s gift of 80,000 playbills, engravings, photographs, manuscripts and books was accepted by the museum after a decade-long campaign. In life Enthoven was indefatigable, had a considerable public profile and a gift for publicity that earned her the nickname ‘the theatrical encyclopedia’. Since her death she has become […]

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Suffragettes plot to raid the V&A

Commemorative Suffragette silk scarf with purple, green and white vertical stripes, Museum no. T.20-1946. © Victoria and Albert Museum On 10 February 1913, the V&A’s Director, Cecil Harcourt-Smith, received disturbing intelligence of an audacious plot by members of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) to vandalise the Museum’s priceless treasures. The suffragette movement had […]

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Marion Thring – First Female Guide-Lecturer at the V&A

By Nicholas Smith, Archivist.For the V&A Archive’s contribution to International Women’s Month, I have chosen to profile Marion Thring, the first full-time female guide-lecturer at the V&A.

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