The National Art Library

The National Art Library section brings you news about exciting new service developments, throws a spotlight on our collections, displays and research projects and provides information about electronic resources with ‘tips and wrinkles’ for making the most of them.

The National Art Library (NAL) is a reference library, open to all visitors. The collection covers the fine and decorative arts, design and art history and contains books, periodicals, auction sale catalogues, exhibition catalogues, electronic resources and other formats of material. Amongst the treasures are artists’ books, illustrated books, fine bindings and rare and unique manuscripts.

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Printed spring fancies

We are now enjoying some of the changes brought about by the dawning of spring. Warmer temperatures and longer days finally seem to be on the agenda (fingers crossed moving forward!), as well as the prospect of flowers and plants literally “springing” into life in the gardens and parks all around us.   But how […]

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National Art Library May bank holiday closures

A reminder that the National Art Library will be closed for the May bank holiday weekends. You can order your items ahead of your visit for when we re-open.  Advance orders received after 16:30 on the Friday will be available by 12 noon on the following Tuesday.   We will close at 18.30 on Friday 4th May, and […]

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The deadly nature of fashion

This April, the Fashioned from Nature exhibition opens at the V&A Museum in South Kensington, where it will explore the complex relationship between fashion and nature. Spanning four centuries, the exhibition will feature fashionable dress and textiles, natural history specimens, as well as key manufacturing processes, and it invites visitors to think about the materials […]

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Easter 2018 opening times at the National Art Library

The National Art Library will be closed from 17.30 on Thursday 29 March.  We will re-open at 10.00 on Tuesday 3 April. If you place an advance order after 16.00 on Thursday 29 March, your items will be available by 12 noon on Tuesday 3 April. We wish all our readers a lovely Easter break!

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What in the world is ‘Jobbing Printing’?

What is Jobbing Printing and what can it teach us about design and everyday life? A new display in Gallery 102, ‘Printing a Modern World. Commercial graphics of the 1930s’ (3 Feb to 19 August 2018), highlights some eye-catching examples of commercial printing ‘jobbing work’ from European and American designers and companies – all from […]

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The enduring appeal of Marimekko’s apparel

Last year Finland celebrated 100 years of independence. Despite its youthfulness, there is a lot we could learn from this new country with many indices citing it as ‘the most stable, the safest and the best-governed country in the world’.[i] Its current standing is a marked departure to its early years, in which its citizens […]

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The Artful Book: 70 Years of The Folio Society

In celebration of beautiful books, we’re marking 70 years of The Folio Society with our latest display on the National Art Library landing. ‘The Artful Book’ was produced in association with The Folio Society, Britain’s foremost publisher of collectable illustrated books, and opened last September.  On display are illustrated books and bindings spanning the past […]

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Road Trip! Britain to Berlin and back

The exhibition Century of the Child: Nordic Design for Children 1900 to Today has seen several configurations since it debuted at the Museum Vandalorum, Sweden in 2014. As the exhibition’s curator here at the V&A Museum of Childhood, I am responsible for recasting this exhibition so that it’s relevant and exciting to our family audiences. […]

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National Art Library online catalogue, new feature: tracking your item requests

The National Art Library recently moved to a new online library catalogue, more information can be found here. This blog series will highlight some of the new features built into the platform to give users integrated keyword searching of online content and print holdings into one search box, tracking and email notifications of item requests […]

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Century of the Child: Nordic Design for Children 1900 to Today

On 30th March 2018, an exciting new exhibition exploring progressive Nordic design for children will open at the V&A Museum of Childhood. Spanning the 20th century, the exhibition Century of the Child: Nordic Design for Children 1900 to Today will feature iconic Nordic designs from BRIO to LEGO, Marimekko and the Moomins.   The exhibition’s […]

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