Yearly Archives: 2018

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Spectacular NHS Spectacles

2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service (NHS). The Service emerged out of the devastation of Second World War and helped unify the country, offering for the first time much–needed free healthcare for all, as Harry Leslie Smith, who was a child in the 1920s attests:   Growing up in Britain before […]

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Guest Blog: The Lamp-Lighter’s Boy

To mark the 200th anniversary of the Old Vic, guest blogger Pieter van der Merwe shares the story of one of the theatre’s first managers.  The ‘Old Vic’ has just celebrated the 200th anniversary of its opening in 1818. In February this year, announcing preparations for this, the current artistic director Matthew Warchus said his […]

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Project Interwoven: studying textiles from the outside in

Today’s blog entry would like to explain how I am examining the textiles. We need to bear in mind that historical textiles are fragile and need to be handled with care, and in case of extreme fragility, we need to avoid any handling at all. Some of the textiles, for conservation reasons, have been studied […]

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Models and the Renewal of Architectural Language during the Renaissance

This is a guest blog by Prof Sabine Frommel, Director of Studies, Art History of the Renaissance, École Pratique des Hautes Études, PSL, Sorbonne (Section of Historical and Philological Studies), one of the international partners of the  Architectural Models in Context Research Network, funded by the AHRC and based at the V&A. An important objective of the […]

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V&A Conservation Journal Number 64, Autumn 2017

Figure 4. Swinging London

The 13 articles posted in the Conservation Journal blog section between October 2016 and September 2017 have been compiled as one issue, Number 64. This issue is available to download and print here: Conservation Journal Number 64 This issue is also available to read online at Issuu:  

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Introducing Search on the V&A website

A quartz crystal ball

Two years ago we launched our newly designed website, having rebuilt it from the ground up. That was a large project in itself, but only the first phase, and work has continued since then, refining and developing our website generally. Site search was a recent addition, but by no means an after-thought, and when we […]

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Spring fashions

As spring draws to a close and we head onwards into the heat of summer, I thought it might be an apt moment to revisit the realm of the printed page one final time in connection with our current “blossoming” season. This time I will concentrate on spring fashions depicted in some early 20th century […]

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The unusual cameras of the Royal Photographic Society Collection

The collection of technical equipment in the Royal Photographic Society contains cameras from the very beginnings of photography right through to the present day. While it is possible to look at such a collection and discover how camera design evolved into what we would recognise today, there are also many slightly weird and wonderful examples of […]

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We Want Quant! Help us bring to life the first Mary Quant exhibition in 50 years

I’m incredibly excited to be co-curating an exhibition on the revolutionary fashion designer, Mary Quant, which opens at the V&A next April. My colleague Steph Wood and I have been delving into the V&A’s fashion collections and have been given unprecedented access to Quant’s personal archive for the show. The exhibition will span the years […]

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Portmeirion: pottery trendsetter

Today is the centenary of the birth of Susan Williams-Ellis (6 June 1918 – 26 November  2007), founder of Portmeirion, the internationally-renowned Stoke-on-Trent pottery. For more than four decades from the early 1960s, she was principal designer at the factory. Her energy, imagination and innovation, combined with an instinctive grasp of what customers wanted, brought […]

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