The Dr Susan Weber Gallery tells the story of furniture design and production spanning the past 600 years and displays more than 200 outstanding pieces, including chairs, tables, bureaux, stools, chests, cabinets and wardrobes. Designers such as Thomas Chippendale, Frank Lloyd Wright, Eileen Gray, Charles and Ray Eames, Tom Dixon and Ron Arad sit alongside lesser-known names all selected for their superior techniques.
FuturePlan: New Furniture Gallery
Major new galleries to present the V&A's outstanding British and international furniture from the 15th century to the present day. The Furniture Galleries focus on questions of form, function, and techniques of construction and decoration, in the creation of furniture for over six hundred years.
Penguin Donkey Bookcase by Egon Riss and Isokon, 1939
This bookcase was was made by Isokon, probably the most forward-thinking British furniture manufacturer of the 1930s. In the late 30s this little bookcase was set to be a best seller, but its success was thwarted by the onset of war. Now it is a rare design.
Korean Red Lacquer Chest
This Korean red lacquer chest inlaid with mother-of-pearl decoration was purchased by a curator from the Ceramics Department who was sent to China and Korea to buy acquisitions for the Museum. Such long distance travel on behalf of the Museum was very unusual at this point in time.
From Thomas Chippendale’s grand 18th-century designs, to a chair used at Charles II’s coronation and Peter Ghyczy’s futuristic Garden Egg, the V&A’s collection of chairs covers a huge variety of design styles and manufacturing techniques. Many of these can be explored in the Dr Susan Weber Furniture Gallery.
The Mazarin Chest
The Mazarin Chest, renowned as one of the finest pieces of Japanese export lacquer to have survived from the second quarter of the seventeenth century, is a star item in the V&A's internationally acclaimed collection of Japanese art. It is made of black-lacquered wood lavishly decorated with landscape scenes incorporating subject matter from the Tale of Genji and the Tale of the Soga Brothers.