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Sketchbook page, John Dibblee Crace, 1880. Museum no. AAD/2000/15/5

Sketchbook page, John Dibblee Crace, 1880. Museum no. AAD/2000/15/5

The V&A's Archive of Art and Design holds the working papers of individual artists and designers, as well as the records of companies and associations involved in all aspects of applied art and design. The archives can be consulted by appointment at Blythe House, located near Olympia in West London.

The architecture collection in the Archive of Art and Design demonstrates a broad spectrum of styles, influences and interests amongst the architects it represents. For example, architect and president of the Royal Academy of Arts 1954, Alfred Edward Richardson, held a deep interest in the 18th century. This is represented in his archive which consists of many glass lantern slides depicting furniture, interiors and exteriors of buildings which mainly concentrate on the 18th century.

Other notable archives include individuals such as Misha Black, the exhibition designer and architect who was involved with many of the activities and developments of British art and design associations, and E.W. Godwin, working in the mid to late 19th century, the pioneer of the Anglo-Japanese style. The earliest holdings are for the Crace Family dating back to 1740 and taking in four generations of talented interior designers who were well known for working closely with leading architects and for the decoration of the Royal Pavillion in Brighton. Austrian architect Hartwig Fischel's archive covers the period from 1829 to 1928 and includes
photographs of the buildings he designed, sketchbooks of architectural details and still lifes, journals and even his own metal name plate. Sean Kenny worked as an architect during the mid-twentieth century before becoming a film and stage production designer. His archive holds an eclectic range of drawings and designs from nightclub floorplans to a stage set for the musical 'Blitz!' which has been signed by the song-writer Lionel Bart.

For more details please consult the Guide to the Archive of Art and Design, Victoria & Albert Museum by Elizabeth Lomas (London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, 2001), which not only lists the AAD archives, but also identifies related material in the V&A Museum and other institutions. Most of the archives are also listed on the Library Catalogue


  • Misha Black, exhibition and industrial designer, architect: papers, 1922-78.
  • Crace Family, interior decorators: papers, c. 1740-1919
  • Hartwig Fischel, architect: collection, 1829-c.1928.
  • E.W. Godwin, furniture and stage designer, architect: papers, 1844-88.
    AAD/1980/4, AAD/1988/4.
  • Eileen Gray, architect, furniture and interior designer: papers, 1913-74.
  • Jacqueline and Jacques Groag, textile and wallpaper designer; architect: papers, c.1929-85.
    AAD/1994/2, AAD/1995/17
  • Sean Kenny, film and stage production designer, architect: designs and press cuttings, c.1960-c.1969.
  • Albert Edward Richardson, architect: lantern slides collection, 1885-1940.
  • Franz Singer, architect, artist and interior designer: papers, 1913-50.

Contact Details

Archive of Art and Design
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2303
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