Behind the scenes: Acquiring objects

Before an object is accepted by the V&A it must go through an approvals process which considers whether the V&A is the right place for the object to be and how it will need to be looked after. There must be a reason for accepting each object that becomes part of the collection.

Once an object has been accepted its condition is checked by a conservator, who assesses the state the object is in and carries out any work necessary to stabilise the object's condition.

Each object is then given a museum number and a basic catalogue record is created for it so that all the information known about the object is kept together and linked to the object by its number. All the research done about an object is put into this record and all further research done in the future will be added to it.

The object is often photographed at this stage, so that images of it will be available to the public and researchers.

A suitable display space in a gallery is then found. Any special conditions needed for the safe installation and display of the object are assessed by conservators and the technical services installation team. A curator researches and writes labels or other interpretation to inform visitors about the object. The object can then be installed in the gallery and viewed by visitors.

The Wolsey Angels Appeal

We urgently need your help to raise the £5,000,000 it will cost for the V&A to acquire four Renaissance angels cast for the tomb of Cardinal Wolsey and later in the possession of Henry VIII.

Help us buy The Wolsey Angels

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Disobedient Objects (Paperback)

Disobedient Objects (Paperback)

Disobedient Objects is about out-designing authority. It explores the material culture of radical change and protest - from objects familiar to many, …

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Event - Disobedient Objects

Sat 26 July 2014–Sun 01 February 2015

EXHIBITION: The V&A presents the first exhibition to explore the powerful role that objects play in grassroots movements for social change, demonstrating how political activism drives a wealth of design ingenuity.

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