We want the V&A to matter to more people and to inspire them wherever they live. We are committed to providing the best possible physical and intellectual access to all our collections and expertise throughout the UK, as well as at South Kensington and the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. Here are just some of the ways in which we enable as many people as possible to interact with our collections all over the country.
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V&A Museum of Design Dundee
The V&A Museum of Design Dundee, due to open in 2018, will be Scotland’s first museum dedicated to design, telling the story of Scotland's design heritage and bringing the most important international exhibitions from the V&A to Scotland. It is being developed by Design Dundee Limited, a new organisation established through a partnership between the V&A, Dundee City Council, the University of Dundee, Abertay University and Scottish Enterprise.
The Wedgwood collection
The Wedgwood collection is one of the most important industrial collections in the world and a unique record of over 250 years of British ceramic production. Now owned by the V&A following a successful fundraising campaign, spearheaded by The Art Fund, it is on display at the Wedgwood Museum, Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, on long-term loan from the Museum.
The V&A and Museums Sheffield established a formal partnership for the development of the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield in 1999. The partnership continues through exhibitions, curatorial and learning projects, and staff development.
The V&A Photography Curators’ Training Programme
The V&A is running a two-year pilot programme, with support from the Art Fund and assistance from the Foyle Foundation, to work in partnership with Nottingham City Museums & Galleries and Museums Sheffield to train and develop two individuals with the skills to become a curator of art photography.
Two emerging curators have been selected to spend six months each with the V&A under the guidance of a museum curator in the photographs section and six months with the regional partner. During their time at the V&A they have gained specialist knowledge of photography, how to care for and develop photograph collections. At the regional partner museum, they have worked on a project identified by their partner museum that will specifically benefit its collection and visitors.
From her work cataloguing the photographs of PH Emerson both at the V&A and at Nottingham Museums, the first trainee developed an exhibition on Emerson held at Nottingham Castle Museum from October-December 2015.
The second trainee began her secondment at Museums Sheffield in May 2016 and will be updating and developing the information held on the museum’s contemporary photographs, from which she will curate a display to be held at the Graves Art Gallery in October 2016.
Supported by the Art Fund with the assistance of the Foyle Foundation
V&A and RIBA Architecture Partnership
The V&A and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) partnership aims to promote the understanding and enjoyment of architecture. The Partnership brings together the RIBA's drawings and archives collections and the V&A's collections of architectural drawings and photographs at one location - the V&A in London. It also brings together the expertise of each institution in an exciting new programme of temporary exhibitions at the V&A, at the RIBA, and on tour.
The ACE/V&A Purchase Grant Fund
The ACE/V&A Purchase Grant Fund supports the acquisition of objects relating to the arts, literature and history by non-national museums, record offices and specialist libraries in England and Wales. The fund, currently £750,000 per annum, is administered by the V&A as part of its nationwide activity.
The V&A supports an ambitious programme of loans as a key means of making our collections more widely available to the public. In any one year, some 2,500 V&A objects can be seen in many venues throughout the UK.
V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green
The Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, London is home to one of the world's largest and oldest collections of toys and childhood artefacts.
About 200,000 visits are made to our touring exhibitions each year. Touring exhibitions are perhaps the our most high profile off-site activity, enabling as many people as possible to engage with the V&A and its collections.
We work with a range of educational, cultural and community organisations, both formally and informally, to bring long term benefits to the institutions concerned, to the public - internationally and in the UK - and to the wider economy.
We are currently working with The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry and Coventry Transport Museum on a project funded by the Department for Education, via The Arts Council. The three-year initiative plans to share expertise, co-devise sessions for schools and run projects to help primary school teachers arrange more museum visits and bring the curriculum to life for their groups.
Supporting collections and research
Knowledge and skills are a vast resource built up by curators, educators, conservators, students and research fellows. Advice is disseminated to government, national and international audiences through publications, touring exhibitions, talks, seminars and web resources. These links are both academic and practical, formal and informal.