Putting together an Exhibition like Horst: Photographer of Style

August 7, 2014

It is an exciting time within the Exhibitions Department with the installation of our new temporary exhibition Horst: Photographer of Style commencing in early August. The exhibition will open on September 6th and fill two of the temporary exhibition spaces.

The fantastic V&A Design Team have been working around the clock to confirm wall colours, type settings and design an intricate floor pattern for the exhibition space. The exhibition will  also boast one of the longest single table top showcases displayed at the V&A, measuring over 9 m in length it will display over 90 editions of American and British Vogue.

Sample for exhibition headings
Sample for exhibition headings, © Clara Sancho


Sample patterned floor
Sample patterned floor, © Mary Linkins

During an intensive two week build a team of skilled contractors will be onsite to make these design visions into a reality.

Selecting label colours
Selecting label colours, © Mary Linkins

What does it take to prepare an exhibition like Horst: Photographer of Style?

Years of forward planning. Curatorial staff started work on the project over five years ago, visiting archives in the US, France and UK. The Exhibitions team commence work on a project at a slightly later stage, with the majority of intensive planning happening in the year prior to opening. As a department we look after the transport, negotiation of loans, build, install and deinstall of the exhibition.

A passionate project team bringing together representatives from across the Museum, from Visitor Services to Security, everyone is integral in the development process.

The turnaround for this exhibition will be tight, two weeks for the fit out of the gallery and two weeks for the object installation.

Exhibitions are responsible for making the Designers’ and Curators’ vision become a reality. At times called the ‘Dream Crushers’, the Exhibitions team acts as the intermediaries between the project stakeholders and manage the budget and scope of the exhibition.

We work closely with the Exhibition Curator to secure the loans that make V&A shows so unique. For Horst we have over two hundred works coming in from around the world (US, Asia and Europe) as well as dozens of objects from our own collections.

1 comment so far, view or add yours


I wish I lived in London right about now! Horst is an idol, inspiration. I live in New York City. Do you know whether this thrilling exhibit is traveling to other countries, or is it entirely V&A’s? When I am next in London I will be sure to visit!

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