The Exhibitions Department manages a diverse programme of temporary exhibitions which are shown at South Kensington to complement the Museum's permanent collection. We aim to present a balanced programme of historical and contemporary, popular and scholarly shows; we feature multi-media exhibitions which focus on a particular period or theme, but also create exhibitions which look at a single British or international artist or designer. We are also responsible for one of the world’s largest programmes of touring exhibitions, working with venues throughout the UK and the world. These touring shows represent a major strand of the V&A's UK and international work. They widen the reach of the V&A brand, increase access to our collections and assist cultural diplomacy.
Planning for a major exhibition at the V&A begins many years in advance of its opening. Once a future exhibition has been identified, the role of the department is to work alongside the exhibition curators, coordinating the practical elements of an exhibition project, from packing and transportation to design and installation.
Our touring exhibitions travel all over the world. We regularly work with partner institutions in the USA, Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia. Recently, we have delivered groundbreaking projects in China, India, Syria and Saudi Arabia. In addition to touring exhibitions from the headline V&A programme, we also travel exhibitions shown in the Contemporary or Fashion galleries, or which feature highlights from the V&A’s permanent collections. We occasionally create exhibitions which have been specifically commissioned by partner venues.
Venues interested in showing a V&A touring exhibition should write to firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2008/9 and 2009/10 temporary exhibitions helped to attract 4.45 million people to the V&A in London. In the same period 4.05 million visitors attended our touring exhibitions in the UK and abroad. We therefore play a major role in sharing the V&A’s collections with the widest number of people.