Interior Design in the Archive of Art & Design

Cocktail bar, Ralph Lamprell, about 1936. Museum no. AAD/1995/13/4/1/2

Cocktail bar, Ralph Lamprell, about 1936. Museum no. AAD/1995/13/4/1/2

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 interior designers represented in the Archive of Art and Design illustrate over 200 years of influence on the buildings we live and work in, and how we decorate them. Their notebooks, correspondence and ledgers are a rich source of information, as are the photographs which record their completed works. From one end of the chronological scale, the AAD holds the archive of the Crace firm of designer-decorators, who worked through the Georgian and Victorian periods, informed by continual study of leading decorative schemes of the day. For more contemporary material, the mid to late 20th century is represented by Robin and Lucienne Day, Eileen Gray, and Jacqueline and Jacques Groag.

Interior design retailers such as Heal & Son and Habitat show the changing tastes of the consumer with large collections that include samples of packaging, marketing and public relations records, catalogues, order and stock books, advertising material, slides of window displays and press cuttings. There is also material relating to interior design exhibitions in the 1980s and 1990s, and archives documenting murals and plasterwork.

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 National Art Library catalogue.

Interior designers

  • Bird Iles Ltd, furniture designer and interior decorator: records, 1928-62.
    AAD/1985/6
  • Clark & Fenn Ltd, interior designers and plasterers: records, c.1930s.
    AAD/1995/25
  • Crace family, interior decorators: papers, c.1740-1919.
    AAD/1992/3, AAD/2000/15, AAD/2001/6
  • Lucienne and Robin Day, textile and wallpaper designer; industrial, interior and furniture designer: papers, c.1950-c.1990.
    AAD/2000/4
  • J.H.V.Dyer, furniture and interior designer, draughtsman: papers, c.1822-c.1904.
    AAD/1989/4
  • Robin Moore Ede, interior designer, photographs and presentation panels, c.1965-91.
    AAD/1992/2
  • Oliver Ford, interior decorator: papers, c.1950-92.
    AAD/1994/20
  • Eileen Gray, architect, furniture and interior designer: papers, 1913-74.
    AAD/1980/9
  • Jacqueline and Jacques Groag, textile and wallpaper designer; architect: papers, c.1929-85.
    AAD/1994/2, AAD/1995/17
  • David Hicks, interior and textile designer: papers, c.1960-1973.
    AAD/1986/4
  • Ralph Lamprell, interior designer: papers, 1910-95.
    AAD/1995/13
  • Bertha Sander, interior designer: papers, 1917-36.
    AAD/1986/10, AAD/1988/3
  • Franz Singer, architect, artist and interior designer: papers, 1913-50.
    AAD/1982/3
  • Olive Sullivan, interior designer, editor of House and Garden: papers, c.1930-95.
    AAD/1999/3

Retailers

  • Allied Maples Group, furniture retailers and manufacturers: records, 1635-c.1990.
    AAD/2000/3
  • Habitat Ltd, furniture and household goods manufacturer and retailer: marketing records, c.1960-98.
    AAD/1995/12, AAD/1995/12, AAD/2000/13
  • Heal and Son Holdings plc., bedding and furniture manufacturer and retailer: records, 1840-2001.
    AAD/1978/2, AAD/1986/1, AAD/1994/16, AAD/1996/8, AAD/1997/4, AAD/1997/13, AAD/1999/7, AAD/2002/2
  • Staples & Co. Ltd, furniture manufacturer: records, 1893-1985.
    AAD/1986/9

Murals

  • T.A. Fennemore, pottery, textile and wallpaper designer: papers, 1924-58.
    AAD/1983/3
  • Ronald Fleming, interior decorator: papers, 1915-76.
    AAD/1981/1
  • David Gentleman, artist: Eleanor Cross murals project papers, 1940-50.
    AAD/1998/7
  • Jan Juta, mural designer and painter: papers, c.1920-c.1960.
    AAD/1993/9
  • Adam Kossowski, mural designer and painter: papers, 1940-92.
    AAD/1992/8
  • Alfred Stevens, painter and sculptor: collection, c.1830-75.
    AAD/1985/5

Plasterwork

  • Clark & Fenn Ltd, interior designers and plasterers, records, c.1930s.
    AAD/1995/25
  • G. Jackson & Sons Ltd, decorative plasterers: records, 1838-1978.
    AAD/1994/7, AAD/1995/26.
  • R.W.Taylor, plaster modeller and woodcarver: papers, 1905-23.
    AAD/1981/10

Ephemera

  • Ephemera Collections: Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition, London (1987-98); Interior Design International, London (1993).
    AAD Ephemera

Related archives in the AAD

  • British Institute of Interior Design: records, 1899-1987.
    AAD/1988/20

Contact details

Archive of Art and Design
Tel: +44 (0)20 7603 7493
Contact us online

Become a V&A Member

V&A Members enjoy a wealth of benefits, including free entry to exhibitions, previews, exciting events and the V&A Members’ Room. In addition, you will be supporting the vital work of the V&A.

Buy or Renew Membership Online

Shop online

Modernism: Designing a New World (Paperback)

Modernism: Designing a New World (Paperback)

Modernism: Designing a New World is the first book to explore Modernism in the designed world from a truly international perspective, and across all t…

Buy now

Event - Create! Interior Design for 13-15 year olds

Sat 22 November 2014 11:00

YOUNG PEOPLE'S WORKSHOP: Gain an insight in to the role of the interior designer and possible career pathways. Find out what they do and how a young person can get involved.

Book online