Victoria and Albert Museum

Victoria and Albert Museum The V&A is a family of museums dedicated to the power of creativity.
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Our mission is to champion design and creativity in all its forms, advance cultural knowledge, and inspire makers, creators and innovators everywhere. V&A South Kensington is a world of extraordinary global creativity, with unmissable exhibitions, experiences and educational programmes for all. One of London's most iconic buildings, it is home to national collections of art, design, fashion, photo

graphy and furniture to theatre, performance, architecture, and ceramics, as well as the UK's National Art Library. It is a place where everyone can experience a story of creativity that spans 5,000 years and every creative discipline, which brings that story to life through programmes and activities for all ages and specialisms, and world-leading research and conservation.

Wishing HRH The Princess of Wales a very happy birthday today! 🎂As Royal Patron of the V&A we thank her for her continue...
09/01/2024

Wishing HRH The Princess of Wales a very happy birthday today! 🎂

As Royal Patron of the V&A we thank her for her continued support, championing of youth creativity and early years development, and celebration of art and design.

📸-HRH opening our Photography Centre in 2018

Celebrating David Bowie, who would have been 77 today ⚡️Discover the exceptional archive of David Bowie at V&A East Stor...
08/01/2024

Celebrating David Bowie, who would have been 77 today ⚡️

Discover the exceptional archive of David Bowie at V&A East Storehouse in 2025. Spanning 80,000 items across his 50-year career, explore the extraordinary journey of one of the most pioneering performers of modern times in ways never possible before.

Here are some of his most iconic posters from the V&A collection to whet your appetite⚡️

✨Poster depicting Bowie from his Ziggy Stardust period, 1974
✨‘Isolar' poster magazine, produced as the programme of the 1976 David Bowie Isolar tour. Newsprint.
✨Poster depicting Bowie at Congress Centrum, Hamburg, 1978
✨Friends of the Earth poster for a 'Save the Whale Benefit Concert' at The Royal Festival Hall, London, July 8th, 1972
✨Poster depicting Bowie in a Major Tom type outfit, 1977/8

…and back to school!The subject in this portrait, ‘The Maths Lesson’, is wearing a full-skirted buttoned coat which were...
07/01/2024

…and back to school!

The subject in this portrait, ‘The Maths Lesson’, is wearing a full-skirted buttoned coat which were very fashionable for boys of the time.

The trend in the UK likely drew inspiration from the exaggerated form seen in German boys' clothing during the 1830s and 40s, featuring wide sleeves and skirts.

📸-‘The Maths Lesson’, oil painting, unknown painter, painted between 1840-50

The more you look, the more you see.Known for his provocative illustrations, Aubrey Beardsley was a leading figure of th...
06/01/2024

The more you look, the more you see.

Known for his provocative illustrations, Aubrey Beardsley was a leading figure of the Aesthetics Movement. His work kicked against Victorian values - with sexuality, suggestiveness and shifting identities at its heart.

Beardsley’s style was influenced by Japanese woodcuts, and whilst they emphasised the decadent, the purity of naturalistic motifs would also appear in his works.

📸
1. ‘Lysistrata defending the Acropolis’, collotype print from ‘The Lysistrata of Aristophanes’, 1896.
2. 'Lysistrata Haranguing the Athenian Women', collotype print from The Lysistrata of Aristophanes’, 1896.
3. 'The Toilette of Salome II', line block print on Japanese vellum, 1890s.

“This year I will…” Whether it’s spending more time in nature or learning a new hobby, what will you do more of this yea...
03/01/2024

“This year I will…”

Whether it’s spending more time in nature or learning a new hobby, what will you do more of this year?

🏊🏼‍♀️Watercolour by David Hockney: Untitled study for a painting, 1967
🎹Girl playing the piano, print by Yoshijiro Urushibara after J. McBey, colour woodcut, 1929
🕺'Tea Dance', photograph by Elaine Constantine, from 'SHOWstudio' portfolio, 2001
📸'Self-portrait in Mirror', photograph by Armet Francis, gelatin silver print, 1964, printed 2012
🏺’Potters’, colour linocut by Leon Underwood, 1939
Female Students at the Royal Academy Schools, watercolour by Edith Brearey Dawson, ca. 1898
💤'My grand child aged 2 years & 3 months’, photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron, albumen print, 1865

Leaping into the New Year like Mr. Jeremy Fisher 🐸Beatrix Potter's famous tale 'The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher' was publi...
01/01/2024

Leaping into the New Year like Mr. Jeremy Fisher 🐸

Beatrix Potter's famous tale 'The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher' was published in July 1906. His escapades were influenced by Potter's fascination with the natural world, especially her pet frogs as a child.

“We didn't realise we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.”A thought-provoking, joy-sparking illustrat...
30/12/2023

“We didn't realise we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.”

A thought-provoking, joy-sparking illustration as we head towards the end of 2023.

What was your favourite memory this year? ❤️

✏️-Winnie-the-Pooh and friends drawn by E. H. Shepard, 1926.

These mannequins have 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲𝘀 💃🏻 Pick your favourite party dress to ring in 2024 🪩 ✨Foil tape dress, Craig Lawrence, 2010🌟...
29/12/2023

These mannequins have 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲𝘀 💃🏻 Pick your favourite party dress to ring in 2024 🪩

✨Foil tape dress, Craig Lawrence, 2010
🌟Pale green dress of silk and tulle, Gianni Versace, 1995
💫‘Amorphous’ black jersey dress, Swanky Modes, 1977
⭐️Metallic neoprene dress, Gareth Pugh, 2011
⚡️Black minidress, Mary Quant, 1962

A Fireside Party (fluffball edition)🎨-‘A Fireside Party’, oil painting showing five dogs warming themselves on a hearth,...
28/12/2023

A Fireside Party (fluffball edition)

🎨-‘A Fireside Party’, oil painting showing five dogs warming themselves on a hearth, Sir Edwin Henry Landseer. 1829.

Winter Night on the Embankment ❄️🌙These snowy scenes were captured during a particularly severe winter in Britain in 189...
27/12/2023

Winter Night on the Embankment ❄️🌙

These snowy scenes were captured during a particularly severe winter in Britain in 1894-95 known as ‘The Great Frost’.

The photographer, Paul Martin (1864-1944) pioneered street and night photography, with some shots requiring exposures of anything between 10 to 20 minutes. He described his nighttime adventures as “amusing experiences” - passers-by were not used to seeing a man with a camera and he was often stopped and questioned by the police.

❄️‘Winter Night on the Embankment’
🌨️ ‘Snow Scene Along The Embankment. No Trams Running Here’
❄️‘Watching the Ice Flow Along the Thames from the Embankment’

Apples roasting on an open fire ❤️🎄Season’s greetings from us (and the rabbits of Beatrix Potter)! We hope you have as m...
25/12/2023

Apples roasting on an open fire ❤️🎄

Season’s greetings from us (and the rabbits of Beatrix Potter)! We hope you have as much fun as these rabbits are.

🎨-The third watercolour in Beatrix Potter’s sequence ‘The Rabbits’ Christmas Party’. Here the rabbits are shown gathered around a fireplace awaiting a dessert of roasted apple.

Happy winter solstice 🌅Each year, thousands of visitors gather around the ancient Stonehenge monument to mark the end of...
22/12/2023

Happy winter solstice 🌅

Each year, thousands of visitors gather around the ancient Stonehenge monument to mark the end of the longest night of the year.

The solstice represents the symbolic rebirth of the sun, marking the return of longer days.

🌅-Julian Trevelyan, 1961

Spoiling the surprise 👀This X-ray of a Christmas cracker playfully explores how radiographs can reveal objects hidden wi...
20/12/2023

Spoiling the surprise 👀

This X-ray of a Christmas cracker playfully explores how radiographs can reveal objects hidden within objects. It was likely a test, light festive relief for radiography staff, deliberately spoiling the traditional surprise of finding the gift trinkets within the cracker. 🎁✨

📸-Made by the X-ray unit of St Bartholomew’s hospital, 1930

Shooting from the hip 📸Mark Cohen is an American street photographer known for his unconventional style. Literally shoot...
17/12/2023

Shooting from the hip 📸

Mark Cohen is an American street photographer known for his unconventional style.

Literally shooting from the hip, he uses a wide-angle lens and forgoes the viewfinder to capture a raw, fragmented vision of his working-class hometown of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

While his photographs share some features with predecessors like Garry Winogrand and Diane Arbus, Cohen's surrealist flair, at once elegant, humourous and with a touch of creepiness, is his alone.

▪️Upside-down girl, 1974
▫️Flashed bag in man's hand, 1974
▪️Girl's hand over ball, 1975
▫️Gum wrapper, 1973
▪️Snow Falling in Alley, 1977

The Poinsettia dress ♥️This exquisite piece from 1953 is made from rich red velvet with hand-stitched chenille embroider...
16/12/2023

The Poinsettia dress ♥️

This exquisite piece from 1953 is made from rich red velvet with hand-stitched chenille embroidery. Layered tulle underskirts stopped the fabric from wrapping around the wearer’s feet, making it easier to ‘swish’. Straps were added at the request of the original owner, Lady Alice Makins, to keep the dress in place so she could dance the night away. 💃🏻

📸-Designed by Angele Delanghe

“Everything I did, I saw it through a tropical eye.”Althea McNish (1924 – 2020) was amongst the first, if not the first,...
14/12/2023

“Everything I did, I saw it through a tropical eye.”

Althea McNish (1924 – 2020) was amongst the first, if not the first, designer of African-Caribbean descent to achieve international recognition. Her designs injected much-needed colour and life into the post-war fashion and textiles industry from the 1950s onwards.

Dazzling contrasting colours, full of movement and expressive lines, McNish's designs captured attention from the moment she graduated. Her designs featured natural imagery drawn from the abundance of tropical flora and fauna from her native Trinidad, and a 'tropicalised' interpretation of the British landscape.

⭐️Golden Harvest, furnishing fabric designed for Hull Traders Ltd., 1960s
🌴Tropic, dress fabric, designed for Ascher Ltd.,1959
💐Tomee, textile design, designed for Danasco Fabrics Ltd., 1961
💚Pomegranate designed for Hull Traders Ltd
🌻Rubra, furnishing fabric designed for Hull Traders Ltd., 1960s

Prison embroideries of Mary, Queen of Scots 🪡 The needlework panels from Mary, Queen of Scots' household are extremely r...
10/12/2023

Prison embroideries of Mary, Queen of Scots 🪡

The needlework panels from Mary, Queen of Scots' household are extremely rare examples of royal embroidery, shedding light on a notorious period in English history. Mary, a threat to Queen Elizabeth I due to her claim to the English throne, was detained for 18.5 years.

Turning to needlework to pass the time, Mary’s embroideries reflect this complex and uneasy period. Panel 1 depicts a phoenix rising, a symbol of immortality. At a time when Mary’s letters and actions were under constant surveillance, this was perhaps a way to assert control over her existence. Panel 2, however, shows a yellow rose attacked by 'THE CANKER' (a group of caterpillars), representing her deep despair.

In 1586 Mary was tried for being part of an assassination plot against Elizabeth. She was found guilty and beheaded the following year.

🪡Details from the Marian Hanging, Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury, 1570 – 85.
The third image shows Mary’s monogram.

We are sad to hear of Benjamin Zephaniah’s passing.Zephaniah captured the marginal voice and made it mainstream. He wrot...
07/12/2023

We are sad to hear of Benjamin Zephaniah’s passing.

Zephaniah captured the marginal voice and made it mainstream. He wrote with incredible eloquence, generosity and candour, without anger nor bitterness.

His fearless appetite to speak truth to power and his deep emotional intelligence have made his work both timely, and timeless.

Painting the ordinary 🎨🖌️ Renowned British painter and printmaker Patrick Caulfield (1936–2005) revitalised traditional ...
07/12/2023

Painting the ordinary 🎨🖌️

Renowned British painter and printmaker Patrick Caulfield (1936–2005) revitalised traditional artistic genres, particularly the still life, with vibrant portrayals of modern life. His signature style featured hard-edged black lines and flat, vivid blocks of colour, creating an immeditately recognisable aesthetic.

Caulfield rose to prominence in the mid-1960s after studying at the Royal College of Art alongside peers like David Hockney. Despite being heavily associated with Pop Art, he distanced himself from the movement, preferring to identify as a 'formal artist' and drew inspiration from Cubist masters like Georges Braque and Fernand Léger who influenced his composition and choice of subject matter.

Coloured Still Life, 1967
Sweet Bowl, 1967
Bathroom Mirror, 1968
Cafe Sign, 1968
The Hermit, 1967

Diary of a Victorian Dandy 🖋️📚This series of five photographs depicts the artist Yinka Shonibare CBE, RA, portraying a s...
04/12/2023

Diary of a Victorian Dandy 🖋️📚

This series of five photographs depicts the artist Yinka Shonibare CBE, RA, portraying a status-conscious, pretentious figure seeking acceptance in aristocratic circles. As the time of day progresses, the scenes become increasingly playful and wild. The images are in order of time: 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 7pm and 3am.

This work plays on Hogarth's A Rake's Progress (c.1733-35) through the lens of a modern costume drama. The figure of the dandy, played by Shonibare himself, reflects on his 'outsider' status as a black, disabled artist, while also delving into notions of British heritage and identity construction.

📸-Photographed 1998, printed 2012

“When I look over the photographs Stieglitz took of me - some of them more than sixty years ago - I wonder who that pers...
03/12/2023

“When I look over the photographs Stieglitz took of me - some of them more than sixty years ago - I wonder who that person is. It is as if in my one life I have lived many lives.” - Georgia O'Keeffe, 1978.

These photographs of Georgia O'Keeffe were captured between 1918-1937 by Alfred Stieglitz, a pioneer of modern photography and O'Keeffe's husband. Their collaboration, both professional and personal, lasted over twenty years, resulting in more than three hundred photographs exploring themes of fragmentation, time and change, reflecting their tumultuous love affair and creative synergy.

1. 1918
2. 1918
3. ca. 1924
4. 1928
5. 1933
6. 1936-7

Welcome December🧣❄️☕️🧣‘December’, tile panel for V&A Poynter Room, Edward Poynter, ca. 1870🌨️Sir Henry Irving as Mathias...
01/12/2023

Welcome December🧣❄️☕️

🧣‘December’, tile panel for V&A Poynter Room, Edward Poynter, ca. 1870
🌨️Sir Henry Irving as Mathias in 'The Bells', oil painting, Cyrus Cuneo, ca. 1905
🍷Silver gelatin print photograph, Curtis Moffat,ca. 1930
♐️‘Sagittarius’, wood engraved proof, Eric Ravilious, 1928
🔥‘A Winter evening’, watercolour over pencil on paper, Beatrix Potter, 1900

A gift from Napoleon 💎This dazzling necklace and earrings set was likely gifted by French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and...
29/11/2023

A gift from Napoleon 💎

This dazzling necklace and earrings set was likely gifted by French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and his consort Joséphine de Beauharnais to their adopted daughter, Stéphanie de Beauharnais, on her arranged marriage in 1806.

The large emerald and diamond stones and the simplicity of design are typical of jewellery favoured at the court of Napoleon.

📸-Necklace of faceted table-cut emeralds in borders of brilliant-cut diamonds, made by Nitot & Fils, France, ca. 1806

Dresses with dramatic backs ✨⚡️1. ‘Oceans’, Sarah Burton, 20112. ‘Underwater’, Zac Posen, 20063. Evening dress, Michael ...
28/11/2023

Dresses with dramatic backs ✨⚡️

1. ‘Oceans’, Sarah Burton, 2011
2. ‘Underwater’, Zac Posen, 2006
3. Evening dress, Michael Sherard, 1958
4. Evening dress, ca. 1920-22
5. Evening dress, Edward Molyneux, 1932
6. Day dress, Victor Stiebel, 1947

Painting the seasons 🌱🍂🌼❄️These painted panels are probably an example of the early work produced by artistic trio Willi...
25/11/2023

Painting the seasons 🌱🍂🌼❄️

These painted panels are probably an example of the early work produced by artistic trio William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and might have once graced a large piece of furniture - perhaps the settle in William Morris's own Red House.

It’s not clear who exactly was responsible for the painting of the panels but signs point to Burne-Jones or Rossetti as the likely hand. This uncertainty reflects how closely these individuals worked together during the early years of their collaboration.

The subject of these panels are suggestive of the seasons but there is no evidence that the panels were ever intended to be ‘labelled’ in this way.

Aged 94, taken on the anniversary of her 72nd wedding day 📸One of the most important and innovative photographers of the...
19/11/2023

Aged 94, taken on the anniversary of her 72nd wedding day 📸

One of the most important and innovative photographers of the 19th century, Julia Margaret Cameron was best known for her powerful portraits that broke the rules: they were intentionally out of focus and often included scratches and other traces of her process, favouring a less precise but more emotionally penetrating form of portraiture.

In this portrait, strong lighting reveals the weathered texture of the sitter’s skin, while soft, shallow focus blurs its details.

Uncontrollable and unpredictable, the natural world provided plenty of inspiration for jewellers during the Romantic per...
18/11/2023

Uncontrollable and unpredictable, the natural world provided plenty of inspiration for jewellers during the Romantic period. Grapes - synonymous with Dionysus, god of pleasure and wine-making - symbolised abundance and passion, a stark contrast to the ordered world of the Age of Enlightenment. 🍇

1. Pair of earrings with pearls set in coloured gold, ca. 1850
2. Glass grape brooch with rose-cut diamonds, ca. 1889
3. Amethyst and enamelled gold earrings, ca. 1840-51
4. Necklace with pearls set in coloured gold, ca. 1850
5. Pair of enamelled gold earrings hung with seed pearls, ca. 1850-90

Ever spotted this ‘breathtaking’ ceiling?Squashed flat by the weight of Tower Bridge, these 54 defunct brass musical ins...
17/11/2023

Ever spotted this ‘breathtaking’ ceiling?

Squashed flat by the weight of Tower Bridge, these 54 defunct brass musical instruments fill the oculus between the two floors in the British galleries at the V&A. 🎺🎷

Created by British artist Cornelia Parker in 2001, ‘Breathless' was designed to be seen from both above and below, with polished surfaces and tarnished underbellies.

The work is an attempt by the artist to explore ideas of duality: silence/noise, black cloud/silver lining, upper class/lower class and death/resurrection.

Learn more about our Art Fund 'New Collecting Award’ which focuses on increasing representation of trans and non-binary ...
16/11/2023

Learn more about our Art Fund 'New Collecting Award’ which focuses on increasing representation of trans and non-binary artists and allies in the V&A - and their work documenting trans lives.

This week is Transgender Awareness Week, an annual celebration of trans lives from November 13th to the 19th. It is an opportunity to educate and unite in solidarity to support a community that is still...

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