Latest Press Releases
Images for use by journalists are available by registering here: pressimages.vam.ac.uk
Further information can be obtained by contacting our Press Office at firstname.lastname@example.org
V&A Acquires Behind-the-Scenes Photographs by Ann Ray of Lee Alexander McQueen at workAs the V&A prepares to open its major exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, the V&A has acquired 13 photographs by Ann Ray (also known as Anne Deniau) from an extraordinary body of work described by Lee Alexander McQueen as ‘my life in pictures’.
All of This Belongs to YouThis spring, with the UK engaged in the democratic process of an election, the V&A
presents All of This Belongs to You, a free exhibition about the museum as a public space
and the role of public institutions in contemporary life.
Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s-1990sThis spring the V&A presents a display of over 50 recently acquired photographs exploring the experiences of black people in Britain in the latter half of the 20th century, enhanced by excerpts from oral histories gathered by Black Cultural Archives.
The Wolsey Angels Saved for the NationThe V&A has now successfully raised the money to acquire four highly important bronze angels originally designed for the tomb of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, chief advisor to King Henry VIII and once one of the most powerful men in England.
V&A India FestivalThis autumn the Victoria and Albert Museum will present a series of exhibitions, displays, events and digital initiatives that will explore the rich and varied culture of South Asia, both past and present.
The Fabric of IndiaThe Fabric of India will be the first exhibition to fully explore the incomparably rich world of handmade textiles from India. From the earliest known Indian textile fragments to contemporary fashion, the exhibition will illustrate the technical mastery and creativity of Indian textiles and will be the highlight of the V&A India Festival.
The Fabric of India HighlightsAn enormous tent used by Tipu Sultan (1750-1799), the infamous ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore, will be erected within the gallery. The tent has an area of more than 58 square metres and features magnificent designs of printed chintz. Usually on partial display at Powis Castle, the original roof and wall will be shown in the exhibition, displayed together for the first time in a generation.
Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani CollectionThis exhibition will present around 100 spectacular objects from or inspired by the jewellery traditions of the Indian subcontinent. Drawn from a single private collection, it will showcase magnificent precious stones of the kind collected by Mughal Emperors in the 17th century and exquisite objects used in royal ceremonies.
Extra tickets released for Alexander McQueen: Savage BeautyMore than 50,000 additional tickets have today been released for the V&A’s spring headline exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty. The exhibition has been extended for two weeks, now closing 2 August 2015, with additional early morning and evening slots made available to provide as many opportunities as possible for visitors to see the exhibition.
Ole Bouman appointed as Director of Shekou Design Museum
China Merchants Group (CMG) has appointed Ole Bouman as Director of the Shekou Design Museum in Shenzhen, a project being developed in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) to become a major design hub for China.
Download: Press Release - Ole Bouman appointed as Director of Shekou Design Museum (PDF File, 156 KB)
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
Savage Beauty will be presented in ten sections which will showcase the dominant themes and concepts within McQueen’s extraordinary body of work.
Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience, 1950s-1990s
This spring the V&A will present a display of over 50 recently acquired photographs that explore the experiences of black people in Britain in the latter half of the 20th century, enhanced by excerpts from oral histories gathered by Black Cultural Archives.
Download: Press Release - Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience, 1950s-1990s (PDF File, 107.5KB)
V&A’s 2014 Christmas Tree by Gareth PughBritish fashion designer Gareth Pugh has been commissioned to create a Christmas installation for the Grand Entrance of the V&A.
What is Luxury?What is Luxury? will present exceptional examples of contemporary design and craftsmanship alongside conceptual projects which interrogate fundamental ideas of luxury, its production and future. From
a diamond made from roadkill to a vending machine stocked with DNA, a golden crown for ecclesiastical use to traditional military tailoring, over 100 objects will address how luxury is made and understood in a physical, conceptual and cultural capacity.
Shoes: Pleasure and Pain
The transformative power of extreme footwear will be explored in the V&A’s summer 2015 fashion exhibition, Shoes: Pleasure and Pain. More than 200 pairs of historic and contemporary shoes from around the world will be on display, many for the first time. The exhibition will explore the agonizing aspect of wearing shoes as well as the euphoria and obsession they can inspire.
The Weston Cast Court V&A opens newly refurbished Italian Cast Court
On Saturday 29 November 2014, the V&A will open the newly refurbished Italian Cast Court as the first phase in the renovation of the Museum’s vast, day-lit courts is completed. First opened in 1873, the Cast Courts
were purpose built to house one of the most comprehensive collections of casts of post-classical European sculpture. 24 metres in height, the two galleries house some of the V&A’s largest objects and are among the most popular in the Museum.
V&A’s Exhibition Road project secures 80% of funding target as new display opens to public
The V&A has secured more than 80% of the funds required for its Exhibition Road building project. The Museum’s largest architectural intervention of the last 100 years, the scheme will create a magnificent new courtyard, entrance and purpose-built underground gallery for the V&A’s internationally renowned exhibitions and is due to open to the public in 2017.
British fashion duo Agi & Sam design new Membership Pack for the V&A
Innovative menswear designers Agi Mdumulla and Sam Cotton have created a new print exclusively for the V&A inspired by an Indian textile in the Museum’s collection. Renowned for their fresh approach to print in fashion, the distinctive design by this year’s GQ Breakthrough Fashion Designers Award winners features on the Museum’s new membership cards and packs.
Fashion in Motion: Sibling
Knitwear collective Sibling will be the subject of the V&A’s next Fashion in Motion. Four free catwalk shows will take place on Friday 21 November, presenting highlights from the label’s menswear collections.
Download: Fashion in Motion: Sibling (PDF file, 152 KB)
Architects as Artists
From the Renaissance to the current day, architects have made drawings for study and pleasure, to represent their projects, document their travels and supplement their income. Architects as Artists will examine the relationship between architecture and art. From work by Raphael to a project by contemporary Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld, it will present examples of the many ways in which architects use and create art.
Download: Architects as Artists (PDF file, 138 KB)
V&A Game Designer launches William Morris game for iPad
The V&A’s first ever Game Designer in Residence, Sophia George, will today launch a brand new iPad game inspired by the work of William Morris. The new game takes its title, Strawberry Thief, from a William Morris furnishing fabric on display in the V&A’s Britain 1500-1900 galleries. The game enables the user to sketch and colour the famous pattern by flying a bird – the strawberry thief itself – across their iPad screen.
Download: V&A Game Designer launches William Morris game for iPad (PDF file, 87 KB)
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
This spring the V&A will present the only major retrospective in Europe of the work of the visionary fashion designer Lee Alexander McQueen. One of the most innovative designers of his generation, McQueen was celebrated for his extraordinary creative talent. He combined a profound grasp of tailoring and eclectic range of influences with a relentless pursuit to challenge the boundaries of art and fashion, blending the latest technology with traditional craftsmanship. Originated by the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Savage Beauty will be edited and expanded for the V&A’s large exhibition galleries. It will feature 30 additional garments,
The V&A and Art Fund Launch Photographs Curators’ Training Programme
The V&A has launched a two-year pilot programme, with support from the Art Fund, to work in partnership with Nottingham City Museums and Galleries and Museums Sheffield to train and develop two individuals with the skills to become curators of art photography.
V&A Announces New Contemporary Acquisitions
The Design Fund has this year enabled the V&A to acquire five contemporary design projects
ranging from domestic vessels which appear to defy gravity to a chair exactly representing its initial sketch.
V&A Exhibition Opening Party Horst: Photographer of Style
Reputable image and style makers from across London displayed their admiration for master photographer Horst P.Horst by attending the definitive retrospective exhibition of his work - Horst: Photographer of Style.
Russian Avant-Garde Theatre: War, Revolution and Design, 1913 - 1933
This autumn a new display will present more than 150 radical designs for theatrical productions by celebrated figures of the Russian avant-garde.
The V&A launches fundraising campaign to acquire four bronze angels, commissioned for the tomb of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
The V&A is seeking to acquire four bronze angels originally designed for the tomb of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, chief advisor to King Henry VIII and once one of the most powerful men in England.
V&A and China Merchants Group announce pioneering collaboration to create the first major museum of design in China
The China Merchants Group (CMG) and the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) signed a collaboration agreement to support CMG's ambitious plan to develop the first major museum of design in China.
Glastonbury Festival Archive
The V&A is delighted to announce a collaboration with Glastonbury Festival to create an archive reflecting more than 40 years of diverse and creative performance.
Small Stories: At home in a dolls’ house
The V&A Museum of Childhood’s major 2014-15 exhibition Small Stories: At home in a dolls’
house will reveal the fascinating stories behind some of the UK’s best-loved dolls’ houses. Through the stories of 12 dolls’ houses from the past 300 years, visitors will be taken on a journey through the history of the home, everyday lives and changing family relationships.
The Weston Cast Court
The V&A will open the newly refurbished Italian Cast Court this November as the first phase in the renovation of the Museum’s vast, day-lit courts. First opened in 1873, the Cast Courts were purpose built to house one of the most comprehensive collections of casts of post-classical European sculpture. Featuring some of the V&A’s largest objects, the two galleries are among the most popular in the Museum.
Rapid Response Collecting
An IKEA soft toy, a pair of Primark jeans, a 3D-printed gun and a piece of lift cable are just a few of the objects that will go on display in a new gallery at the V&A this summer. The objects have been recently acquired as part of the Museum’s new approach to collecting contemporary design and architecture, known as ‘Rapid Response Collecting’.
Shortlist announced for V&A Illustration Awards 2014
The V&A has announced a shortlist of 14 candidates for its annual Illustration Awards. The Awards are given to the best illustrated book, book cover, editorial illustration and student illustrator.
Horst: Photographer of StyleThis autumn, the V&A will present the definitive retrospective exhibition of the work of master photographer Horst P. Horst (1906-1999) – one of the leading photographers of the 20th century. In his illustrious 60-year career, German-born Horst worked predominantly in Paris and New York and creatively traversed the worlds of photography, art, fashion, design, theatre and high society.
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty comes to London
The V&A is delighted to announce that it will present Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty in London in spring 2015. The first and largest retrospective of the late designer’s work to be presented in Europe, the exhibition will showcase McQueen’s visionary body of work. Spanning his 1992 MA graduate collection to his unfinished A/W 2010 collection, McQueen’s designs will be presented with the dramatic staging and sense of spectacle synonymous with his runway shows.
V&A launches ‘Cakespeare’ competition to mark the 450th anniversary of the bard’s birthday
To mark the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth on 23 April 2014 and launch the V&A’s Shakespeare Festival, the Museum is inviting the public to take part in a special Shakespeare themed cake competition.
Constable: The Making of a Master
The V&A's major autumn exhibition will re-examine the work of John Constable (1776-1837), Britain’s best-loved artist. It will explore his sources, techniques and legacy and reveal the hidden stories behind the creation of some of his most well-known paintings.
The V&A will this summer present the first exhibition to explore objects of art and design from around the world that have been created by grassroots social movements as tools of social change. From Chilean folk art textiles that document political violence to a graffiti-writing robot, defaced currency to giant inflatable cobblestones thrown at demonstrations in Barcelona, to a political video game about the making of mobile phones, Disobedient Objects will demonstrate how political activism drives a wealth of design ingenuity.
Shakespeare: Greatest Living Playwright
In celebration of the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth on 23 April 2014,this display will explore Shakespeare’s works as inspiration for a multitude of theatrical interpretations through the centuries and across the globe.
V&A FuturePlan update 2014
Over the last 13 years the V&A has completed more than 50 building projects and transformed around 40,000 square metres of the Museum.
18th-century table fountain to be displayed for first time in 150 years following ambitious conservation project
A huge 18th-century table fountain is to go on public display for the first time in 150 years when the V&A’s new Europe 1600-1800 galleries open in late 2014.
V&A to publish complete list of ‘Entartete Kunst’ online
The V&A holds the only known copy of a complete list of ‘Entartete Kunst’ (‘Degenerate Art’) confiscated by the Nazi regime from public institutions in Germany, mostly during 1937 and 38. The typescript inventory of ‘Entartete Kunst’ was apparently compiled in 1941-2 and provides information on the provenance and fate of each work.
V&A experts discover new John Constable oil sketch
V&A experts have discovered a previously unrecorded oil sketch by John Constable in the Museum’s permanent collection, concealed beneath a lining canvas on the reverse of Branch Hill Pond: Hampstead. The newly discovered work will now go on public display in the Paintings Galleries.
V&A Announces Dice Kayek As Winner Of Jameel Prize 3
Dice Kayek has won the £25,000 Jameel Prize 3 for Istanbul Contrast (2010), a collection of garments that evoke Istanbul’s architectural and artistic heritage. Dice Kayek is a Turkish fashion label established in 1992 by sisters Ece and Ayse Ege.
Wedding Dresses 1775-2014
The V&A’s spring 2014 exhibition will trace the development of the fashionable white wedding dress
and its interpretation by leading couturiers and designers, offering a panorama of fashion over the last two centuries.
V&A’s 2013 Christmas Tree by Helen and Colin David
To celebrate the festive period, the V&A has commissioned artists Helen and Colin David to create a Christmas Tree for the Grand Entrance of the Museum.
Fashion in Motion: Meadham Kirchhoff
Celebrated design duo Meadham Kirchhoff will be the subject of the V&A’s next Fashion in Motion. Four free catwalk shows will take place on 6 December, presenting highlights of the label’s womenswear collections to date.
The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014
The V&A's spring exhibition, The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014, will be the first major show to examine Italy’s rich and influential contribution to fashion from the end of the Second World War to the present. It will draw out the defining factors unique to the Italian fashion industry – the use of luxurious materials; expert textile production; specialist, regional manufacturing; and its strength as a source of both dynamic menswear and glamorous womenswear.
Fashion in Motion: Kansai Yamamoto
Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto will be the subject of the V&A’s next Fashion in Motion. Four free catwalk shows will take place on 1 November, presenting archive and specially made pieces spanning Yamamoto’s four decade career.
V&A acquires the original Joey puppet from the National Theatre’s West End stage production of War Horse
The V&A is delighted to announce that Handspring Puppet Company have donated Joey, the original West End horse puppet from the National Theatre’s award-winning stage adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s novel War Horse.
Travelling to the Wonderland
From 2 November, celebrated Chinese artist Xu Bing will transform the V&A’s John Madejski Garden into an ethereal Arcadia inspired by the classic Chinese fable Tao Hua Yuan (The Peach Blossom Spring). The V&A invited Xu Bing to create a major new work to coincide with the Museum’s forthcoming exhibition, Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 700 – 1900 which brings together the finest examples of Chinese painting to present an overview of one of the world’s greatest artistic traditions.
William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain
A new collaboration between the V&A and the Bard Graduate Center will examine the life and
work of William Kent (1685-1748), one of the leading architects and designers of early Georgian Britain. The exhibition will celebrate Kent’s oeuvre over three decades (1719-48) when Britain defined itself as a new nation with the accession of a new Hanoverian Royal Family.
The Design Fund to Benefit the V&A Announces New Contemporary Acquisitions
The Design Fund to Benefit the V&A has this year enabled the Museum to acquire five
contemporary design projects ranging from a series of vessels made of natural polymers to a 3D printed gun. They will all go on display at the V&A for the first time during London Design.
V&A acquires the archive of Vivien Leigh
The V&A is delighted to announce that it has acquired the archive of the British film and theatre actress Vivien Leigh (1913 - 1967) in the centenary year of her birth. The archive comprises many never-before-seen records including letters, personal diaries and photographs, visitor books, Leigh’s annotated film and theatre scripts, press clippings and her numerous awards.
Last chance to see David Bowie is
Around 300,000 people have already seen the V&A’s David Bowie is exhibition as it enters its closing week. The V&A has been running regular late night openings to cope with demand and the exhibition has been open until 22.00 every night for the final two weeks. Tickets are still available for purchase every day at the Museum.
V&A’s Exhibition Road Project Awarded Heritage Lottery Fund Grant
Tuesday 30 July 2013
The V&A is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a first-round pass for an Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of £4,999,000 towards the Museum’s £42 million Exhibition Road Project.
V&A Launches Series of Free Podcasts
The V&A has launched a series of podcasts revealing the work that goes on behind the scenes of the world’s leading art and design museum. Topics range from the challenges of curating exhibitions about performance, to ways of preventing art theft.
V&A Announces David Bowie is happening now, a Live Cinema Event
Tuesday 13 August
On Tuesday 13 August audiences across the country will be able to join the Museum for a live cinema event screened from David Bowie is as the finale to the enormously successful exhibition.
The Clothworkers’ Centre for Textiles and Fashion Study and Conservation
Opens 8 October 2013
The V&A is creating a new centre for the study, enjoyment and care of its outstanding textiles and fashion collections. Housing over 104,000 objects, the Clothworkers’ Centre will offer the best possible access to the V&A collections for the many researchers, students and enthusiasts who use them every year.
Georg Baselitz installation at the V&A
15 June – 8 September 2013
Lent by the artist and supported by White Cube
This summer a monumental three-figure sculpture by Georg Baselitz, one of Germany’s most celebrated living artists, will be installed in the John Madejski Garden.
George Butler announced as winner of the V&A Illustration Awards 2013
George Butler was last night (3 June) revealed as the overall winner of the V&A Illustration Awards 2013 in a ceremony held at the Museum. The annual V&A Illustration Awards celebrate the best illustration published over the last year.
Fashion in Motion: Jenny Packham
Friday 19 July, 13.00, 15.00, 17.00, 20.00
The V&A’s next Fashion in Motion will celebrate the 25th anniversary of designer Jenny Packham. On 19th July the Museum will host a series of four free catwalk shows in its Raphael Gallery, presenting highlights of Packham’s collections to date.
Tomorrow – Elmgreen & Dragset at the V&A
1 October 2013 - 2 January 2014
The V&A has commissioned a major site-specific installation over five galleries by leading contemporary artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset. Opening in October 2013, Tomorrow will transform the V&A’s former textile galleries into an apartment belonging to a fictional, elderly and disillusioned architect.
21 September 2013 - 19 January 2014
Organised in partnership with the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), the exhibition will explore the history of pearls from the early Roman Empire to the present, and will be the highlight event of the Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture.
Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 700 - 1900
26 October 2013 - 19 January 2014
The V&A's autumn exhibition, Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 700-1900, will be the most ambitious survey of one of the world's greatest artistic traditions. It will gather together the finest examples of Chinese painting created over a 1200 year period and will show more than 70 works including some of the earliest surviving Chinese paintings as well as other exceptionally rare works loaned from the greatest international collections.
The Splendours of India’s Royal Courts
Palace Museum, Beijing, 25 April - 31 July 2013
The Splendours of India’s Royal Courts will be the first exhibition to be held in China to explore the magnificence of Indian court culture. Over 110 works from the V&A’s superlative collections will reveal the splendour of India’s emperors and kings during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Jameel Prize 3 shortlist announced
On 14 March the V&A announced the shortlist for the Jameel Prize 3Download: Jameel Prize 3 shortlist announced (PDF file, 82 KB)
Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s
The V&A’s fashion exhibition for summer 2013, Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s, will explore the creative explosion of London fashion in the 1980s.
David Bowie is
The V&A has been given unprecedented access to the David Bowie Archive to curate the first international retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie - one of the most pioneering and influential performers of modern times.
New Display: Music Hall: Sickert and the Three Graces
16 March 2013 - 5 January 2014
This immersive installation created by an award-winning creative team of theatre makers, video artists and designers will explore the rise and fall of Music Hall, a lost genre of popular entertainment.
Treasures of the Royal Courts: Tudors, Stuarts and the Russian Tsars
A new V&A exhibition will examine the development of cultural diplomacy and trade between Britain and Russia from its origins in 1555 when the Muscovy Company was founded.
Sky Arts Ignition: Memory Palace
This summer, the V&A will be staging a multi-dimensional exhibition experience. Sky Arts Ignition: Memory Palace will present an original work of fiction by author Hari Kunzru, transformed into a walk-in story by leading graphic designers, typographers and illustrators including Le Gun, Oded Ezer, Erik Kessels and Luke Pearson.
V&A Searches for Designer Jackets for 1980s Fashion Exhibition
In 1986, Blitz magazine commissioned a group of 22 British designers to customise denim jackets provided by Levi Strauss & Co. The V&A now has nine of these jackets in its collection. The Museum is keen to reunite the complete set of jackets for its new summer 2013 exhibition Club to Catwalk: London fashion in the 1980s.
Barbara Nessim Gives Archive to V&A
Internationally renowned artist and illustrator, Barbara Nessim has donated many of her most significant artworks to the V&A.