Working in and with Europe


The V&A has deep and long standing relationships with museums and audiences across Europe, facilitating research, loans and exhibitions.

The museum’s European galleries re-opened in December 2015 after a major refurbishment project, showcasing the V&A’s outstanding collection of 17th and 18th century continental art and design. You can explore the V&A’s European collection by following the below link.

V&A staff talk about our new Europe galleries in their native languages in this video series.


International exhibitions

The V&A has a busy programme of exhibitions and loans to Europe. The Museum regularly exchanges loans with museums across Europe, as well as touring its temporary exhibitions abroad.

There are a number of recent highlights of the touring programme in Europe. Botticelli Reimagined was jointly organised by the V&A in partnership with the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, and opened in Berlin’s Gemäldegalerie before coming to the V&A in March 2016. As part of its triumphant world tour, David Bowie is travelled to Germany, Italy, and The Netherlands and was the inaugural exhibition to open in Philharmonie de Paris’ new gallery space in March 2016.

In June 2016 the V&A announced a partnership with the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and Vogue Russia. The collaboration, which builds on the V&A’s ongoing relationship in and with Russia, will see the partners collectively develop and curate a major new exhibition on Russian Style. It is anticipated the exhibition will open at the V&A in 2020 before being presented at the State Tretyakov Gallery in spring 2021.

The V&A became the first institution to collaborate with the Venice Biennale on a special project - The Applied Arts Pavilion. It opened as part of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in 2016 with a V&A-curated exhibition, ‘A World of Fragile Parts’ that explores the threats facing the preservation of global heritage sites and how the production of copies can aid in the preservation of cultural artefacts. You can find out more about this project by visiting the dedicated web page.


The V&A has strong links with a number of academic institutions and enjoys collaborative and cooperative international relationships.

Collecting Europe

The V&A and the Goethe-Institut London in partnership with British Council have commissioned 12 international artists to imagine what Europe might look like 2,000 years from now. Running from 1st February, the festival will present a series of artist commissions throughout the museum. To find out more, visit the dedicated page on the V&A website.

The Museum has embarked on a collaborative partnership with the Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife and the Musee du Louvre, supported by the EU Cultural Program. This project is the ‘European Network of Museums of Islamic Art' (REMAI: Red Europea de Museos de Arte Islámico) and is focusing on ceramics, stucco work and photography.

V&A curators are also working with on a collaborative project with European curators to catalogue the V&A’s collection of pro-democracy posters from Central and Eastern Europe. Projects such as these encourage the sharing of skills and expertise, and increase understand of the V&A collections.

The V&A has also been playing an advisory role to museums in Europe, assisting with displays, branding, trade and education.