FuturePlan is an ambitious programme of development which is transforming the V&A. The best contemporary designers are creating exciting new galleries and visitor facilities, while revealing and restoring the beauty of the original building. In the past 15 years, over 85% of the Museum’s public spaces have been transformed, improving access and allowing the collections to be more elegantly and intelligently displayed. By introducing bold new architectural interventions, FuturePlan aims to delight and to inspire visitors, and to continue the Museum’s tradition of championing new talent.
The V&A has acquired photographs since 1852 and now has one of the largest and most important collections in the world. Comprising over 800,000 objects that encompass the medium’s entire history, the Museum holds works by the world’s leading historic and contemporary photographers. To match the collection’s significance, we are creating a new Photography Centre in two phases:
Phase One, which opened on 10 October 2018, has more than doubled the permanent gallery space for photography, enabled us to digitise our collections, and created an upgraded state-of-the-art storage facility. The first display takes the theme of ‘Collections’ and presents a sweeping history of photography, from the earliest ‘daguerreotypes’ to digital photography. Contemporary work and specially commissioned photography is hosted in the Project Space, the first of which is a series of photographs by Thomas Ruff, exploring Captain Linnaeus Tripe’s 1850s paper negatives of India and Burma. A Dark Tent projects films showing photographic processes, techniques and projected photography, as well as providing space for activities and film screenings. And the Digital Wall, a grid of nine screens, displays cutting-edge works of digital imagery.
Phase Two (opening in 2022) will establish an impressive photography library and study, two flexible learning and event spaces, and a photographer’s studio and dark room.
The Photography Centre is supported by The Bern Schwartz Family Foundation, Modern Media, Shao Zhong Art Foundation and many other generous donors.
The V&A Museum of Childhood
The V&A Museum of Childhood explores art and design through its world-class collection of children’s toys, artefacts and cultures. It is the UK’s National Museum of Childhood and is the largest institution of its kind in the world.
Our vision is to establish the Museum of Childhood as the best design-focussed museum for children, families and young people. We will dramatically modernise the Museum’s galleries and learning centre into practical, interactive spaces and more than double the number of objects on display from our collection. This major transformation will establish the Museum of Childhood as an incubator for creativity and 21st century design skills for our youngest visitors and enable us to safeguard the Museum of Childhood's historic building and nationally significant collection for future generations, all in time to celebrate the building’s 150th anniversary in 2022.
The Raphael Gallery
The Raphael Cartoons are among the greatest treasures of the High Renaissance and have been on loan to the V&A from the Royal Collection since 1865. Painted by Raphael Santi (1483 – 1520), the Cartoons are full-scale designs for tapestries made to hang in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel.
To mark the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death in 2020, the V&A is embarking on a landmark project to enhance our visitors' understanding and enjoyment of the Raphael Cartoons and the gallery in which they hang.
Our specialist conservators will assess the Cartoons to ensure their preservation for future generations. New research will provide the foundations for innovative interpretation and an exciting digital experience, which will unveil new stories about Raphael’s artistic practice, the creation of the Cartoons and tapestries, and their legacy within the wider development of art and design.
The V&A is developing exciting plans for East London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, as part of LLDC's Olympic legacy collaboration, together with other world-leading institutions including UCL, UAL London College of Fashion and Sadler's Wells.
As we seek to develop new programmes and transform access to the V&A's collection and archives, the V&A East project is a hugely important opportunity for the future. Our pioneering curatorial partnership between the V&A and the Smithsonian Institution continues to develop, and V&A teams will be running a number of events, activities and partnerships across East London in the coming year.
How You Can Support Futureplan
FuturePlan is transforming the V&A. Through this programme of renewal we have revitalised the displays, researched and conserved the collections, clarified the layout and restored much of the building's original grand architecture.
FuturePlan is almost entirely funded by private donations and is succeeding thanks to the extraordinary commitment of our supporters. If you would like to get involved, please contact the Development department. We would be delighted to discuss how you can help FuturePlan restore and redesign the V&A.
We are currently working to secure funds for:
- The Museum’s new Photography Centre, which will display highlights from the V&A’s world leading photography collection and establish a photography library, learning spaces, dark room and an artist’s studio.
- The renovation of the Museum of Childhood will establish it as the very best design focused museum for children, and use its world-class collection of children’s toys and artefacts to promote knowledge and enjoyment of the designed world.
We are also seeking funding to support the other activities that make the V&A a world-class centre of excellence and learning in art and design. You can support our programmes that relate to education, acquisitions, conservation and research.
Find out the latest news from the wide range of FuturePlan projects being carried out around the V&A by architects, designers and leading Museum experts.