Textile study rooms, 95-100 & the Clothworkers' Centre
The Textile Study Rooms (rooms 95-100) closed in February 2011 in preparation for the relocation of the Museum’s study collections of textiles and fashion from the V&A to Blythe House in Kensington Olympia, where the Museum is building a centre for the study and long-term preservation of the collections. Following a generous lead grant from The Clothworkers’ Foundation this new facility will be called The Clothworkers’ Centre for Textiles and Fashion Study and Conservation.
The Centre will bring the European and Asian textile study collections together in a single location for the first time. Individual visitors and groups will be able to make appointments to see, study and enjoy the collections that interest them in the spacious new public study room. The Clothworkers’ Centre will open in summer 2013.
Blythe House is also home to the Archive of Art and Design which has many important textiles and fashion archives.
Textiles and fashion will continue to be displayed in exhibitions and galleries at the V&A. Amongst a wide range of textiles, some of the Museum’s finest tapestries, embroideries and woven silks can be seen in the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries and important carpets, lace and rare fashion items in the British Galleries. The Tapestry Gallery shows the magnificent Devonshire Hunting Tapestries, the only great hunting tapestries to have survived from the 15th century, and many superb textiles from China, Japan, Korea, South Asia and the Islamic world are on display in the Asian galleries. When the Fashion Gallery re-opens in May 2012 its new permanent display will exhibit fashion and textiles from the 18th century to the present day.
The Textiles and Fashion collections and the Asian textiles and fashion collections can also be accessed online through Search the Collections. More detailed object information and photographs are being added every month as a result of the cataloguing programme initiated by the Clothworkers’ Centre project.
The V&A’s long-term ambition is to create a new permanent gallery for textiles and fashion in the areas currently used for temporary exhibitions. This would allow the V&A to show more textiles and fashion than ever before. The space will be released when the Museum’s new, purpose-built exhibition galleries open, expected to be complete by the end of 2015.
The Clothworkers’ Centre for Textiles and Fashion Study and Conservation
The V&A is creating a new study and conservation centre for textiles and fashion at Blythe House in Kensington Olympia, which is already home to the Archive of Art and Design and provides storage for several other V&A collections. The centre is being made possible thanks to a generous lead grant from The Clothworkers' Foundation. Haworth Tompkins, the award winning architects, are the designers.
The Centre will bring the European and Asian textile study collections together in a single location for the first time, creating a resource of over 100,000 objects. It will provide a spacious public study room, new storage and a world-class conservation studio. The study room will include an area that can be screened off for teaching and individuals and groups will be able to make appointments to see, study and enjoy objects that interest them. Together these facilities will enhance our knowledge of the textiles and fashion collections and promote their long-term preservation.
Packing up the study collections housed at the V&A has already started but, owing to the number of objects and their diversity, the move will take two years. The Clothworkers’ Centre will open in summer 2013.