Modernism

Room 74 and throughout the Museum

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Modernism in design and architecture emerged in the aftermath of the First World War and the Russian Revolution – a period when the artistic avant-garde dreamed of a new world free from history and tradition.

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During the years between the World Wars, Modernist design and art shared certain underlying principles: a rejection of decoration and applied ornament; a preference for abstraction; and a belief that design and technology could transform society. This utopian spirit pervades the V&A's collection: from everyday objects to feats of technological inspiration.

Collection Highlights

desk lamp
Dell-Lampe Type K, desk lamp, designed by Christian Dell, made by Zimmermann GmbH, 1929, Frankfurt, Germany
cup and saucer
Neu-Berlin, cup and saucer, designed by Trude Petri, manufactured by Staatliche Porzellanmanufaktur, 1931, Berlin, Germany
armchair
Paimio Armchair, designed by Aalto, Alvar, manufactured by Huonekalu-ja Rakennustyötehdas Oy, 1932, Finland
desk
Desk, designed by Denham Maclaren, about 1929, London, England
teapot
Teapot, designed by Naum Slutzky, 1928, Hamburg, Germany
armchair
MR20, armchair, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, manufactured by Thonet, 1927, Frankenberg, Germany
panelled room
(Detail) Kaufmann Office, panelled room, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, 1935 – 37, Pittsburgh, US
armchair
The Red Blue Chair, armchair, designed by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, made by Gerard A. van der Groenekan, 1918, Netherlands
hanging
Hanging, designed by Anna Albers, 1926, made by Gunta Stölzl, 1967, Germany
vase
Savoy, vase, designed by Alvar Aalto, manufactured by Karhula, 1937, Finland
bookcase
Penguin Donkey, bookcase, designed by Egon Riss, manufactured by Isokon Furniture Company, 1939, London, England
Table lamp
MT8, table lamp, Wilhelm Wagenfeld, about 1924, Germany. Museum no. M.28&A-1989. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
kitchen
(Detail) Frankfurt Kitchen, designed by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, 1926 – 27, Frankfurt, Germany
ensemble
Ensemble, designed by Aleksandr Mikailovich Rodchenko, 1922, made by Air Morishita, 2005, France
drawing
Drawing, by Edward McKnight Kauffer, 1934, London, England
radio
EKCO AC 74, radio, designed by Serge Chermayeff, manufactured by E. K. Cole Ltd, 1933, Southend on Sea, England
book
Britain by Mass Observation, book, by Charles Madge & Tom Harrisson, published by Penguin Books, 1939, England
bracelet
Bracelet, designed by Naum Slutzky, 1930, Hamburg, Germany

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