A brief history of vampires – in print, photography and posters

From a pressed specimen of a dead bat, to a 19th-century photograph of gothic ruins, to an AIDS awareness poster from the mid-1990s, explore the legacy of Bram Stoker's classic horror story 'Dracula' across the V&A's collections.

Published in 1897 at the height of Gothic literature, Stoker's shocking portrayal of the suave and seductive, yet deadly Count Dracula, soon came to embody popular representations of the vampire in art, literature and film. Curators Lydia Caston and Ruth Hibbard delve into our National Art Library and Prints, Photography, Drawings and Posters collections to reveal Dracula's haunting presence and lasting influence as a symbol of death, decay, degeneration and contagion.

We use third-party platforms (including Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube) to share some content on this website. These set third-party cookies, for which we need your consent. If you are happy with this, please change your cookie consent for Targeting cookies.