Why do displays change?

From time to the Museum changes objects on display in the galleries.

New acquisitions

When we acquire new acquisitions and they have a rational place in one of the galleries, another object may have to be returned to storage to make room in the display.

Loans

The V&A has an active programme of lending to temporary exhibitions worldwide, usually for a few months at a time. In the gallery a label will tell you where a piece has gone, why, and for how long.

Rotation

Even in the carefully controlled conditions of the galleries many objects will fade over time. Light-sensitive materials such as watercolours, photographs and textiles may be taken off display from time to time in order to slow down the deterioration and prolong their life in the Museum. Wherever possible their places are taken by others, a process we call 'rotation'. For open books, one solution may be simply to open the book at a different page. The changes bring the additional benefit of displaying new pieces from store.

Swapping objects in this way involves a surprisingly large number of Museum staff: researching, photographing, conserving and mounting the new objects for display, and of course, taking the objects off display, and ensuring that they are stored properly.

Private Group Tours & Talks

We offer a wide range of tours to meet your group requirements. Whether a group has a special area of interest, wishes to explore a particular gallery or just get an overview of the Museum's collection the Groups Team can help.

View our Private Group Tours & Talks

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Why It's STILL Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions (Paperback)

Why It's STILL Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions (Paperback)

Originally published in 2012 to wide acclaim, this updated edition, Why It's STILL Kicking Off Everywhere, includes coverage of the most recent events…

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Event - Rapid Response Collecting

Fri 04 July 2014–Thu 15 January 2015

DISPLAY: Rapid Response Collecting is a new strand to the V&A's collecting activity. Objects are collected in response to major moments in history that touch the world of design and manufacturing. The display, which will constantly change, shows how design reflects and defines how we live together today.

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