International Museum Day 2020: A Voysey Odyssey


Digital Media
May 18, 2020

Happy International Museum Day!

It’s a very different International Museum Day (IMD) this year, with many of our museum buildings closed and staff either furloughed or working from home due to the coronavirus outbreak. I can happily report though that the museum in the care of our trusty curatorial colleague Blathers, on a remote desert island somewhere in the Nintendo game Animal Crossing, is still open! (see previous post for more details and some William Morris designs)

Animal Crossing by Nintendo. Image copyright Richard Palmer

Over the next two weeks, Blathers will be celebrating IMD with an in-game competition to collect stamps for visiting parts of the natural history collection. Alongside this, we will be running an art challenge to collect six designs, hidden on our website, that you can import into the game. These were designed by someone who was as big a fan of the natural world as Blathers (even more so, he could tolerate butterflies!), the renowned Arts & Crafts designer Charles F. Voysey.

Voysey took inspiration from the natural world to create bold, stylistic designs for furniture, ceramics, textiles and wallpaper that remain incredibly popular. We are sure the Happy Home Academy will look favourably on any home decorated with Voysey’s designs. If you are interested in learning more about Voysey, whose birthday it would have been on Thursday 28 May (Happy Birthday Charles!), we have an excellent book by Karen Livingston available from many retailers (Waterstones, Blackwells, or support your local independent bookshop!)

“The life of animals might be a source of joy in our own lives” – Charles Voysey

Butterfly House, Animal Crossing by Nintendo. Image copyright Richard Palmer

To start you off (and as a reward for reading this far), the first Voysey design can be found at the bottom of this blog post. To import this into the game, you will need to use the Custom Design app on your Nook Phone, and have the Nintendo Switch app on your smartphone linked to the game (see the Getty’s excellent guide to setting all this up, and a million bell thanks to Selina, Kristen, David and team at the Getty for making all this possible via IIIF) .

We have hidden the rest of the designs in various locations on our website and we will be posting clues on our Twitter over the next two weeks to help you find them. As you collect the patterns, we would love to see your Arts & Crafts themed Animal Crossing homes (using either the Voysey or Morris patterns, or both!). Share them on social using the hashtag #VAMAnimalCrossing.

Happy hunting!

About the author


Digital Media
May 18, 2020

Is a web developer at the V&A interested in data and systems, and the complicated connections between them. ORCID: 0000-0002-3177-1313

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