Past Exhibitions and Displays 2007
Curtis Moffat: Experimental Photography and Design, 1923-1935
2 August 2007 - 13 April 2008
This exhibition displayed some of the highlights of the Chris Moffat archive generously donated by Penelope Smail, daughter of Curtis and Kathleen Moffat, in 2003 and 2007. The archive contains over 1,000 photographic prints and negatives as well as press cuttings, scrapbooks, ephemera and photographic equipment.
V&A Illustration Awards 2007
4 December 2007 - 18 March 2008
This display features prize-winning work, produced by professional illustrators, from the annual V&A Illustration Awards, Britain's top awards for book and editorial illustration.
1 December 2007 - 9 January 2009
The Swarm chandelier was designed by Zaha Hadid, one of the most highly regarded architects working today. Her buildings are often extraordinary, sculptural forms that push the boundaries of engineering and technology. Like them, Swarm is an abstracted organic form.
Swarm is made in an edition of eight by the young British furniture manufacturer Established & Sons. It is composed of 16,000 suspended black crystals, each painstakingly suspended by hand on individual wires.
Collaborators: UK Design for Performance 2003-2007
21 November 2007 - 31 August 2008
From pantomime and drama to opera and dance, in the UK and abroad, this display brought together the work of over 100 of Britain's most creative theatre designers recognised worldwide for their skills and innovative designs. On display were designs by three of the most internationally acclaimed set designers of recent years - Paul Brown, Richard Hudson and Ralph Koltai - including Brown's surreal designs for La Traviata at the 25,000-seat Arena di Verona (2004).
Out of the Ordinary: Spectacular Craft
13 November 2007 – 17 February 2008
This joint V&A and Crafts Council exhibition featured eight international artists who place meticulous craftsmanship at the heart of their work. On display were unusual and beautifully crafted installations. The artists take inspiration from the everyday, transforming their subjects using traditional techniques in unexpected ways.
Central Asian Ikats from the Rau Collection
5 November 2007 - 30 March 2008
Centuries old, the ikat technique is a complex sequence of tie-dyeing silk threads to create elaborate patterns in striking colours. These textiles reached a high point in production and popularity in nineteenth century Central Asia. This display of ikat robes and hangings from the collection of Pip Rau provided an invaluable introduction to the inventive and colourful ikat fabrics of Central Asia.
The Holiness of Beauty: G.F. Bodley (1827-1907) and his circle
1 November 2007 – 17 February 2008
Marking the 100th anniversary of the death of George Frederick Bodley, the most influential Gothic-revival architect of the late 19th century, this display explored Bodley’s career from his early powerful, colourful Gothic designs to the spare elegance of his late style, which profoundly shaped the appearance of Anglican churches throughout the world.
Booker Prize Special Bindings
23 October 2007 - 4 January 2008
Designer Bookbinders is one of the foremost societies devoted to the craft of fine bookbinding, its membership drawn from the fields of fine bookbinding, book arts and artists' books, each with a passion for presenting the bound text as a unique art object.
Mapping the Imagination
3 October 2007 – 27 April 2008
Maps are simplified schematic diagrams that employ a universal visual language through which we codify and comprehend our world. We all use maps in our daily lives as sources of information about places, routes, networks and boundaries. They offer us the means of describing and understanding the intangible too - everything from air routes and constellations to states of mind.
The Art of Drinking
26 September 2007 - 26 April 2009
For the past 500 years drinking has stimulated a rich material culture. Specific situations and drinks require particular vessels, from stoneware beer mugs to jade wine cups and silver goblets. This display explored the varied and often curious designs of drinking vessels in order to explain their function and importance.
The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947 - 1957
22 September 2007 – 6 January 2008
This glamorous exhibition focused on Parisian and British couture between 1947-1957, a decade that Christian Dior described as the ‘Golden Age’ of fashion. On display were stunning gowns and exquisite tailoring from designers such as Balenciaga, Norman Hartnell, Balmain and Givenchy, as well as Dior.
The Art of Lee Miller
15 September 2007 – 6 January 2008
Lee Miller is one of the most renowned female icons of the 20th century - a unique individual admired as much for her free-spirit, creativity and intelligence as for her classical beauty. This exhibition covered her extraordinary career as a photographer and was the first complete retrospective of her life and work, exploring her transformation from artist's muse to ground-breaking artist.
Beatrix Potter: Recent Discoveries
10 September 2007 - 14 January 2008
Beatrix Potter grew up in South Kensington, the almost rural enclave of a wealthy upper middle class with liberal and artistic values. Her own family included many connoisseurs and practitioners of art. This selection of recent acquisitions enhances our understanding of the influence of Beatrix Potter's family on her life and work.
Paper Movies: Graphic Design and Photography at Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, 1934 to 1963
2 August - 18 November 2007
This display explored the ground-breaking work of the two Russian émigré-designers, Alexey Brodovitch and Alexander Liberman during their tenures as art directors at Harper's Bazaar and Vogue, during the 1940s and 1950s. The display featured photographs, prints, photobooks and vintage copies of Harper's Bazaar and Vogue from this period.
Campana Brothers in the Garden
21 July - 14 October 2007
As part of the V&A's 150th Anniversary celebrations, this special commission for the John Madejski Garden highlighted the work of celebrated Brazilian design duo Fernando and Humberto Campana.
V&A 150th Anniversary
26 June - 13 September 2007
In June this year, the V&A celebrated the 150th anniversary of its opening in South Kensington.
To reflect this and to mark the occasion, we invited 150 leading designers, architects, photographers, fashion designers and artists to contribute a page to an anniversary album.
17 June - 22 July 2007
Snap! is Mencap’s annual photo and story competition for people with a learning disability, their friends, families and carers. Started five years ago, Snap! showcases people’s talents and offers a rare insight in to the world of learning disability.
Miss Potter: A Life in Photographs
11 June – 10 September 2007
Beatrix Potter's father Rupert took up photography in the 1860s when it was still a relatively new art form. An enthusiastic and skilled amateur, he was elected to the Photographic Society of London in 1869 and later contributed to photographic exhibitions. Rupert's favourite and most forbearing subject was Beatrix herself. Photography was an expensive and laborious process but she appears to have endured patiently the elaborate choreography and the camera's uncomfortably long exposure. The photographic account of Beatrix's life from childhood to marriage was a legacy of Rupert's passion for both photography and his beloved daughter. He captured her at home in London and on holiday in the countryside; sombre and formal among family, relaxed and playful among her pet dogs and rabbit, Benjamin Bouncer.
Watercolours of the Great Exhibition
9 June 2007 – 14 January 2008
The Great Exhibition of 1851 took place at Hyde Park in a revolutionary glass and iron building known as the 'Crystal Palace'. It included over 13,000 exhibits and attracted more than six million visitors.
This small display features 11 watercolours painted in 1851, showing different interior views of the Exhibition. The works are new acquisitions purchased with the assistance of The Art Fund, the Contributing Members of the Friends of the V&A and the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851.
Inspired by... 2007
19 May - 22 July 2007
Inspired by… is the V&A's annual art competition leading to a display to celebrate creativity, encourage part-time students to engage with the collections, have their work displayed at the museum and acknowledged. Participants created a work of art or craft inspired by the collections of either V&A South Kensington or the V&A Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green. Entries were judged by a panel of curators and educators and the winners and other selected works were displayed in the museum of their inspiration.
New York Fashion Now
17 April - 23 September 2007
For over a century, New York has reigned as America's fashion capital. Today, its creative legacy, successful fashion empires, and important press and retail sectors ensure that the city's influence has become global.
Surreal Things: Surrealism and Design
29 March – 22 July 2007
While many exhibitions have explored Surrealism as a movement in literature and the fine arts, Surreal Things was the first to examine its impact on architecture, design and the decorative arts. It presented a new approach to the subject, focusing on the creation of surrealist objects, whether unique works of art or examples of modern design.
Medieval & Renaissance highlights - Makers and Markets
26 March 2007 - 27 April 2009
This small display highlighted the growing market in 16th century Europe for decorative goods - from costly lustreware, enamels and sculptures to more modest domestic stoneware pots. Works by some of the greatest sculptors of the period, such as Michelangelo, Benvenuto Cellini and Giambologna, were included. These artists were celebrated figures in their own lifetimes and princes, popes and the rising merchant classes were keen to acquire works by such celebrated masters.
Zero / Hans Schleger – A Life of Design
22 March - 15 July 2007
Hans Schleger (1898-1976), who also signed his work 'Zero', was a major figure in the development of graphic design in Britain from the 1930s to the 1970s. Schleger adopted modernist ideals in his work; he also made bold and memorable surrealist designs. This display documented and celebrated his life.
21 March - 24 September 2007
The 21st-century Silversmiths display showed a sampling of work carried out by today's working silversmiths. Most of the examples were drawn from the V&A's continually expanding collection of contemporary metalwork.
James Athenian Stuart 1713 - 1788: The Rediscovery of Antiquity
15 March - 24 June 2007
Widely recognised for his central role in the development of Neo-Classicism, James 'Athenian' Stuart is a compelling figure in English design history. This exhibition was the first comprehensive retrospective of Stuart's work. It looked at him as a designer, artist and taste-maker, setting his work in the context of eighteenth century design culture.
Uncomfortable Truths – the shadow of slave trading on contemporary art & design
20 February – 17 June 2007
This exhibition of new and specially commissioned work commemorated the bicentenary of the Parliamentary abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Uncomfortable Truths addressed the ways in which the legacy of slavery informs contemporary art and design in a display of a series of works throughout the museum’s public spaces, seeking to reassess human cost of slavery.
Kylie - The Exhibition
8 February - 10 June 2007
This exhibition looked at Kylie Minogue as a popular style icon and international performer and featured costumes, accessories, photographs, sound and video exploring Kylie's career and changing image.
8-12 February 2007
The fourth annual COLLECT, organised by the Crafts Council, was a unique opportunity to see a vast array of styles and schools of contemporary applied art under one roof.
1 February - 31 December 2007
Natural gold resources generated enormous wealth for the Asante kingdom in Ghana, West Africa. During the 19th century, gold was at the centre of the Asante economy, and gold dust was the most common currency. Small weights (mbrammoo) cast in brass and bronze were used to weigh gold dust.
Eugène Atget: Unintentional Surrealist?
29 January - 22 July 2007
Eugène Atget (1857-1927) took up photography as a professional in the late 1880s. Details of his earlier life are shadowy. He is known to have been a sailor and then an amateur actor, which may account for the 'stage set' quality of many of his images. He seems to have lived a largely secluded life in his apartment in Paris.
Elizabethan Flagons from St Mary Woolnoth
12 January 2007 - 29 June 2008
These flagons were acquired for the medieval church of St. Mary Woolnoth in 1697. They are beautifully engraved with grotesques attributed to Nicaise Roussel, an immigrant from Flanders. Originally intended for domestic use in serving ale, in an ecclesiastical context they would be used for storing communion wine. The City Church of St Mary Woolnoth is the official City church for the Government of British Columbia. In the 1930s a Lord Mayor of the City of London lent one of the flagons to Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria, British Columbia.
This display celebrated its return after seventy years abroad.