History of Furniture: Form, Fashion and Function

Short course

+44 (0)20 7942 2000
  • Friday 17 January 2020 – Friday 27 March 2020

  • V&A South Kensington

    Cromwell Road
    London, SW7 2RL

  • Seminar Room 1

  • Course price £380.00 - £472.00

  • Call +44 (0)20 7942 2000 to book

This event is unfortunately cancelled. During these exceptional times, the health and wellbeing of our visitors and staff is our highest priority. In line with the latest advice from Public Health England, all V&A sites (South Kensington, Museum of Childhood, Blythe House, V&A Dundee) are temporarily closed. If you have purchased tickets for events that have been cancelled or postponed there are several options available to you and our ticketing team will be in touch. You can find out more on our blog

Read more
course photo
Portrait of Coures Leader Philippa Barton

Coures Leader
Philippa Barton

Philippa Barton specialises in the history of English domestic architecture, interiors and furniture with a particular interest in the planning of houses, the changing use of room types and the arrangement of furnishings, and the development of cabinet-making from the mid-sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries.

The quality of the V&A Short Course speakers and the material they covered was superb; the gallery talks were also interesting and helpful to study. I was given an excellent framework for future study. Previous Course Student

Course overview

Discover the fascinating way that furniture reflects social changes through the centuries and how types of furniture evolve according to the needs of the day often with telling contrasts between England and the Continent. The course will reveal its varied functional or decorative role, its place within interior schemes and will examine how the use of new techniques and materials could revolutionise the work of the cabinet-maker. With visits to the V&A’s Furniture Gallery, the course will examine furniture-making techniques and materials, including joinery, veneering, marquetry and inlay, upholstery and gilding as well as the work of key makers and designers from Boulle, Chippendale, Riesener, Hope and Pugin to Morris, Thonet, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand, Marcel Breuer, Eileen Gray, Alvar Aalto, Charles Eames and Shiro Kuramata.


Course tickets will be available for priority booking for V&A Members from 9.30am Monday 6 May 2019. General booking will open on 9.30am Monday 13 May 2019, subject to availability.

This course has a Half Term break on 21 February • Refreshments served • Price reductions available for Seniors (60+), jobseekers (ES40 holders) and registered disabled people

Enrol now

Short course: History of Furniture: Form, Fashion and Function

17 January 2020 - 27 March 2020

£380.00 - £472.00

Call to book +44 (0)20 7942 2000

Need help enrolling? Talk to the admissions team:

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Open 10.00 - 13.00, Monday to Sunday (closed 24-26 December)