Open daily 10:00 to 17:45 Admission free Menu

Gregor Reisch, Margarita philosophica, Strasbourg: Johann Schott, [1503] 1504, Title page. Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This project, conducted by Simona Valeriani while being a member of the URKEW team, deals with the changing understanding of what was considered useful knowledge between the late Middle Ages and the Industrial revolution with a focus on Early modern Europe. Different aspects of society are considered in this respect: teaching and learning (pedagogical trends and curricula), encyclopaedias and compendia, prises and patent systems, scientific wish lists etc.

In this framework Simona is interested in the changing role played by the mechanical arts in society and in the appreciation of the elites. As a case study (civil) engineering is concentrated on and particularly water control and hydrology.

Furthermore a focus of this research is on the function of objects such as models, instruments, maps etc. in mediating between different epistemic cultures in Early Modern Times. Simona has been working on the role played by material objects in the transmission of facts from the past, as well as on the role they play in the construction of our identity.
Intended outcomes

A monograph entitled In-between Knowledge. Artefacts and Places in the production of Useful and reliable knowledge in Europe 15th – 18th century, is in preparation, interest has been expressed by Cambridge University Press.

Research Officer for Europe:

Dr Simona Valeriani

Relevant links  

Economic History

Shop online

Tea: East and West

Tea: East and West

This evocatively illustrated book tells the story of tea around the world, and celebrates its contribution, past and present, to civilized existence. …

Buy now

The Museum of Savage Beauty

The Museum of Savage Beauty interactive web feature explores the hidden stories and craftsmanship behind some of the most remarkable objects made by Alexander McQueen and his creative collaborators. Here the designer's iconic pieces are placed alongside historical objects from the V&A’s collections, which represent some of the many design traditions that inspired him.

Explore the Museum of Savage Beauty

Event - East Asian Ceramics

Sat 14 May 2016–Sun 15 May 2016

NEW WEEKEND COURSE: Discover East Asian Ceramics in the V&A collection, from Neolithic earthenwares and the first porcelaineaous wares to complex forms and glazes which placed them at the forefront of ceramic technology.

Book online