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Design for an inn sign, Britain, about 1750. Museum no. P.26-1986

Design for an inn sign, Britain, about
1750. Museum no. P.26-1986

The Victoria and Albert Museum has an outstanding collection of design drawings, encompassing European and American drawings for architecture and interiors, and sculpture, and for the applied and industrial arts, including ceramics, furniture, jewellery, metalwork, stained glass, product design, graphic design, fashion, textiles and wallpaper. The designs range from back-of-the envelope sketches and annotated specifications to blue prints and presentation drawings.

In some instances the complete design process, from conception to production, is fully represented in the collection by means of relevant supplementary material, such as models and prototypes, and marketing materials, such as photographs, brochures and trade literature.

Among those represented in the collection are architects Sir John Vanbrugh, Robert Adam, A.W.N. Pugin and Norman Foster, the sculptor Henry Moore and designers Anna Maria Garthwaite, William Morris, Edward McKnight Kauffer, Mary Quant, Manolo Blahnik, Tom Dixon and Tord Boontje.

Archive of Art and Design

The Archive of Art and Design holds the archives of individuals, associations, and companies involved in art and design. Access to the Archive is by appointment. For further information please contact the Archive on +44 (0)20 7942 2303 or Contact us online.

National Art Library

The National Art Library holds numerous publications relating to design, including a notable trade literature collection. For further information please contact us online.

Design blog by Glenn Adamson

From Sketch to Product was a blog by craft theorist and historian Glenn Adamson written from 2009 - 2011. He examined the preparatory dimension of design, showing how drawings, models, and prototypes affect the qualities of finished products. Many examples were drawn from the V&A's permanent collection and exhibition programme.


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