Research

Research is a core activity of the V&A, and it grows out of our original commitment to advancing the arts and sciences that shape the world around us. The Research Department works with experts throughout the Museum and a wide range of external partners in increasing access to and understanding of the collections in our care, helping to make the world’s oldest and largest museum of art and design a leading centre for object-led learning at the interface between history, theory and practice.

The Research section of the V&A blog will offer progress reports and provocations, sneak previews and glimpses behind the scenes, from people working on and in our collections.

Image: Pair of suede shoes, made in England, 1950s. X-ray image by Paul Robins, Object Number T.12-1990. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

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Architectural Models?

Didier Faustino's This is not a love song occupied Bedford Square in 2015 as part of Faustino’s exhibition Undomesticated Places. The installation was designed to be a ‘platform in the urban environment’. It fulfilled Faustino’s intention by becoming, amongst other things, a backdrop for a motorbike selfie and a stage for a jazz quartet.

This post has been written by Vanessa Norwood, one of the leading curators of architecture in the UK. Vanessa is a Network Partner in Architectural models in context: creativity, skill and spectacle, an AHRC-funded research network hosted at the V&A.  It could be said that the claim I am about to make is a step too far. […]

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Experimental Modelling

Mond Qu: ‘Aditnalta: An Island Dispersed Across The Internet’, AA Year 5, 2012/13.

The Architectural Association is a Network Partner in Architectural models in context: creativity, skill and spectacle, an AHRC-funded research network hosted at the V&A. This post has been written by Ed Bottoms, Archivist and Tutor at The Architectural Association. In 2013 one of the Architectural Association’s students constructed a giant model of an imaginary favela, inhabited […]

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Collecting Textiles at the Victoria and Albert Museum: first insights (III)

The South Kensington Museum continued to increase its textile collection between 1880 and 1900. During this period the museum acquired significant items, such as the so-called Coptic textiles from Egypt, or velvets such 81a-b-1892 or 334-1886. In this blog, I like to highlight those related to the Interwoven project. One prominent collector and textile expert […]

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Collecting Textiles at the Victoria and Albert Museum: first insights (II)

The South Kensington Museum continued to increase its textile collection between 1880 and 1900. During this period the museum acquired significant items, such as the so-called Coptic textiles from Egypt, or velvets such 81a-b-1892 or 334-1886. Here I am highlighting those related to the Interwoven project. This blog considers two very different contributions to the […]

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Collecting Textiles at the Victoria and Albert Museum: first insights (I)

The V&A textile collection is one of the most important in the world because of the wide range of raw materials, techniques, places of production and time periods it covers. The Interwoven project focuses on textiles and ecclesiastical vestments related to Spain, especially, those from the Middle Ages and Early Modern period, velvets and embroideries (for more […]

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Architectural Models in context: creativity, skill and spectacle

A new International Research Network, funded by the AHRC, has launched at the V&A, led by Dr Simona Valeriani, Head of Early Modern Studies on the V&A/RCA History of Design programme, as Principal Investigator and Dr Olivia Horsfall Turner, Senior Curator of Designs, as Co-Investigator. This Research Network – Architectural Models in context: creativity, skill […]

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Victoria Adukwei Bulley: Artist in Residence for VARI Opening the Cabinet of Curiosities Project

Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Artist in Residence for the VARI Opening the Cabinet of Curiosities Project

The Project The Cabinets of Curiosity project examines the History of Collecting over the centuries, from Early Modern, to 19th Century to Contemporary. Dr Hannah Young is currently undertaking research that seeks to uncover some of the unexplored histories of the V&A, which in many respects became a large-scale nineteenth-century ‘cabinet of curiosity’. In particular, she […]

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VARI Artist in Residence Call: Opening the Cabinet, Histories of Slavery and Slave-Ownership

We are delighted to announce our new call for artists who are keen to engage with the histories of slavery and slave-ownership that are ‘hidden in plain sight’ within in the museum, as part of the V&A Research Institute (VARI) Opening the Cabinet of Curiosities project. The selected artist will be encouraged to engage with […]

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Building the Royal Albert Hall: Embroidery and Education in South Kensington

Hanging the Hammercloth

This is the last in a series of blog posts by students of the V&A/RCA History of Design MA programme, composed to accompany the ‘Building the Royal Albert Hall’ display, which is now in its last few weeks. It can be see at the V&A in Room 127 (the entrance to the Architecture Gallery) until […]

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The Best Seat in the House: Interior Design Fashions at the Royal Albert Hall

Formal dining in a Grand Tier box, 1980s

This is part of an ongoing series of blog posts by students of the V&A/RCA History of Design MA programme, composed to accompany the ‘Building the Royal Albert Hall’ display on view at the V&A in Room 127 (the entrance to the Architecture Gallery) until 7 January 2018. Here second-year student Karen Morton discusses changing fashions […]

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