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EXHIBITIONS

Current Exhibitions

Explore the  V&A's programme of changing exhibitions and displays. Complementing the Museum's permanent collection, they  cover a broad range of subjects from design and fashion to photography and architecture. 

Major exhibitions feature multiple rooms of objects and installations while smaller displays are sometimes located in just a single  case.

  • China Design Now

    Photography by John Ross

    Photography by John Ross

    15 March – 13 July 2008

    Sponsored by HSBC

    Exhibitions, Room 39 and North Court
    Tickets: adult £9.40/senior citizens £7.20/full time students, ES40 holders and 12-17 yr olds £4.75. Family tickets available. Under 12s free. Prices inclusive of all booking fees

    The V&A’s spring exhibition, China Design Now, explores the recent explosion of new design in China, from the 2008 Olympic stadium to the most interesting fashion and graphics. 

    The exhibition captures a dynamic phase as China opens up to global influences, and looks at developments in three rapidly expanding cities - Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. It displays the work of Chinese and international designers, focussing on architecture, fashion, youth culture and graphics as well as film, photography, product and furniture design and digital media.

    View exhibition website

    Book tickets

  • Blood on Paper: the Art of the Book

    'Open Secret', Anthony Caro, 2004. Ivory Press

    'Open Secret', Anthony Caro, 2004. Ivory Press

    15 April - 29 June 2008

    Admission free

    At a time when the notion of the book is challenged by the advent of the screen and computer, this exhibition aims to show the extraordinary ways in which the  book has been treated by leading artists of today and the recent past. Some are iconic works which established the genre of the livre d’artiste after the Second World War; others are surprises from artists best known for their work in other media. Some works show the virtuosity of traditional ‘hot metal’ printing techniques, others produce stunning large-scale installations and sculptures.

    Seen together, these artists’ books show a truly astonishing inventiveness, many on display to the public for the first time. Artists represented range from Matisse, Picasso and Braque to Anselm Kiefer, Anish Kapoor and Georg Baselitz.

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  • Thomas Hope: Regency Designer

    Vase, designed by Thomas Hope, 1802-3. Museum no. M.33-1983

    Vase, designed by Thomas Hope, 1802-3. Museum no. M.33-1983

    21 March - 22 June 2008

    Exhibitions, Room 38
    Tickets: adult, senior citizens, full time students, ES40 holders and 12-17 yr olds £5.75. Family tickets available. Under 12s free. Prices inclusive of all booking fees

    Thomas Hope's important role as an arbiter of design taste in the early 19th century is explored in this display. Regency furniture designer and collector of art and antiquities, Hope pioneered the Neo-Classical Style in England. His Household Furniture and Decoration (1807) was the style Bible par excellence.

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  • The Story of the Supremes from the Mary Wilson Collection

    The Supremes. Photo courtesy of Motown Records Archives

    The Supremes. Photo courtesy of Motown Records Archives

    13 May - 19 October 2008

    Admission charges apply - advance booking now open

    A display of performance costumes worn by The Supremes, one of the most successful groups of the sixties - only the Beatles had more number one hits. The display shows the changing image of The Supremes from the early days when they were known as The Primettes to the glamorous Hollywood designs they wore at the height of their fame, and looks at their continuing stylistic influence on performers such as Beyoncé.

    This is a V&A Exhibition in collaboration with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum: www.rockhall.com.

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  • Collaborators: UK Design for Performance 2003-2007

    Photograph of The White Album performance, Nottingham Playhouse, 2006. Photograph by Nathan Rose

    Photograph of The White Album performance, Nottingham Playhouse, 2006. Photograph by Nathan Rose

    21 November 2007 - 18 November 2008

    Free admission

    From pantomime and drama to opera and dance, in the UK and abroad, this display brings together the work of over 100 of Britain's most creative theatre designers recognised worldwide for their skills and innovative designs. On display are designs by three of the most internationally acclaimed set designers of recent years - Paul Brown, Richard Hudson and Ralph Koltai - including Brown's surreal designs for La Traviata at the 25,000-seat Arena di Verona (2004).

    View exhibition website

  • 'Seasons through the Looking Glass' Tunnel Installation

    'Seasons through the Looking Glass' artist's impression

    'Seasons through the Looking Glass' artist's impression

    28 march 2008 - 29 march 2009

    Tunnel Entrance
    Free Admission

    Alice's adventures began when she fell into a tunnel that unexpectedly twisted downwards to form a deep well. She landed abruptly on a heap of sticks and dry leaves. This notion of mythical underground spaces is the subject of CJ Lim's installation, a multi-sensory and tactile intervention which explores the spatial possibilities of a subterranean garden.

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  • Unseen Hands – 100 Years of Structural Engineering

    Beijing National Aquatics Centre. © PTW + CSCEC

    Beijing National Aquatics Centre. © PTW + CSCEC

    17 March - 7 September 2008

    Architecture, Room 128a
    Admission free

    Marking the centenary of the founding of the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), this display celebrates the importance of engineering in creating some of the most iconic buildings of the past 100 years. The ambition and ingenuity of these structures is revealed through a variety of media - models, drawings, CAD imagery, video and photographs sourced from all over the world. The display is curated by architectural writer David Littlefield with the support of the IstructE.

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  • Medieval & Renaissance highlights - Makers and Markets

    'Head of Medusa', Benvenuto Cellini, about 1545-50. Museum no. A.14-1964

    'Head of Medusa', Benvenuto Cellini, about 1545-50. Museum no. A.14-1964

    26 March 2007 - 27 April 2009

    Sculpture, Room 117
    Free admission

    This small display highlights the growing market in 16th century Europe for decorative goods - from costly lustreware, enamels and sculptures to more modest domestic stoneware pots. Works by some of the greatest sculptors of the period, such as Michelangelo, Benvenuto Cellini and Giambologna, are included. These artists were celebrated figures in their own lifetimes and princes, popes and the rising merchant classes were keen to acquire works by such celebrated masters. 

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  • Certain Trees: the Constructed Book, Poem and Object, 1964-2008

    The Allies, by Martin Fidler and Simon Cutts, Nottingham, 1973

    The Allies, by Martin Fidler and Simon Cutts, Nottingham, 1973

    1 April - 17 August 2008

    Room 74
    Free Admission

    This display of books, objects and constructions reveals an energetic community of poets and artists in Britain discovering and developing the expressive potential of publication as an art practice. The work of the 16 individuals represented here is very diverse, however shared characteristics include brevity, a subtle sense of colour, wry humour, and an unpretentious relationship to art and literature of the past. Some of the works look like quite ordinary books, but their use of mainstream conventions is purposeful, questioning or amused. A poem is a kind of object, and the material character of a book may be its most important message.

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  • The Art of Drinking

    Puzzle Jug, 1770-75. Museum No. 275-1896

    Puzzle Jug, 1770-75. Museum No. 275-1896

    26 September 2007 - 26 September 2008

    Free admission

    For the past 500 years drinking has stimulated a rich material culture. Specific situations and drinks require particular vessels, from stoneware beer mugs to jade wine cups and silver goblets. This display explores the varied and often curious designs of drinking vessels in order to explain their function and importance.

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  • Elizabethan Flagons from St Mary Woolnoth

    Pair of Flagons, England, 1587-8.

    Pair of Flagons, England, 1587-8.

    12 January 2007 - 29 June 2008

    Gallery 83, Case 9
    Free Admission

    These flagons were acquired for the medieval church of St. Mary Woolnoth in 1697. They are beautifully engraved with grotesques attributed to Nicaise Roussel, an immigrant from Flanders. Originally intended for domestic use in serving ale, in an ecclesiastical context they would be used for storing communion wine. The City Church of St Mary Woolnoth is the official City church for the Government of British Columbia. In the 1930s a Lord Mayor of the City of London lent one of the flagons to Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria, British Columbia.
    This display celebrates its return after seventy years abroad.

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