Proud and Free: Celebrating Jamaican Culture

As a close to our Windrush 75 season of activities we pay homage to the Caribbean arts, with this showcase of Jamaican art, design, performance, and cultural heritage collected and celebrated at the V&A.

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Proud and Free: Celebrating Jamaican Culture photo

Immerse yourselves in pop up talks on Jamaican crafting, music, fashion, and visual artists featured in our collections online and in our galleries. Deep delve into our prints, drawings, and photographic collections, and consider the legacies of the Black British experience during the mid to late 20th century.

View noteworthy acquisitions, including the 350-year-old Jamaican Comb Case, and cabinets full of the collecting practices of absentee enslavers Ralph Bernal and William Beckford, who each owned plantations in Jamaica. These chronicle the uncomfortable truths of enslavement through art and design and introduce a historical context to Jamaican storylines not fully acknowledged, through objects made before, during, and after the arrival of Windrush.

Explore our Windrush 75 display Between Two Worlds…. featuring the work and archive materials of Birmingham based Jamaican born photographer Vanley Burke, alongside the 18th century painting of Francis Williams aka the Scholar of Jamaica. Promenade across the museum and observe the work of contemporary British Jamaican sculptor Thomas J Price, who through his sculptures “want’s people to recognise themselves and feel valued".

Journey across six galleries on a trail of the Caribbean featuring objects you might otherwise have missed, join our Vanley and Francis redesign workshop, contribute your Windrush diaspora story and / or photograph to our Youth Collective’s ……. Living Legacy display, savor a cocktail or two, and listen to the curated soundtrack of Jamaican music influenced by the collection, to frame your experience on the night.

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Header image: Ragga Crouching, England, Photographed 1993, Jennie Baptiste, ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.