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Victoria and Albert Museum - Events & Shows

Victoria and Albert Museum Cromwell Road, SW7
Tel: 020 7942 2000
South Kensington

This list features exhibitions, major projects, regular events and displays at the V&A. Further details are available from the V & A Press Office: 011 44 207 942 2502.

March - July 2002
This unprecedented exhibition will highlight the significance of terracotta (literally 'baked clay') in all its various forms over four centuries of spectacular Italian sculpture, from the Renaissance to the age of Neo-classicism. The works of great Italian sculptors such as Donatello, Bernini and Canova will show how clay modelling lies at the heart of the creative process in making sculpture. By juxtaposing models with the finished works, visitors will be able to see how sculptors developed their designs from initial pencil drawings through clay sketch-models to full-scale marble sculptures.

The exhibition will present a complete range of objects in terracotta from reliefs by Donatello and Luca della Robbia to sculpture in the round by Andrea Riccio and Gianlorenzo Bernini. These include sculptures produced in terracotta as a medium in its own right, as well as models for works in other materials. The diverse supplementary material will include drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and Lorenzo di Credi, and decorative objects by Massimiliano Soldani and Filippo della Valle.

Italian Terracottas - from Ghiberti to Canova will draw on the rich holdings of private and public collections including those of the V&A, the Hermitage in St Petersburg, the Palazzo Venezia in Rome and other major North American and European museums.

October 2002 - January 2003
This exhibition is the climax in a series of immensely popular exhibitions on the Middle Ages, the last of which, The Age of Chivalry, was held at the Royal Academy. The V&A's exhibition will explore English art and culture between 1400 and the Tudor age, within a European context.

The patronage of English kings from Henry V to Henry VIII will be seen through a range of objects, for example, tomb effigies, portraits and sumptuous textiles. Icons of the period will be displayed, including the splendid crown commissioned by Margaret of York, which has been in Germany for over 500 years, never before seen in this country. A stunning range of heraldic manuscripts, armour and jewellery will show the rich pageantry of the late medieval nobility - including the exquisite gold and enamel Dunstable Swan Jewel.

This exhibition will uniquely look beyond elite society, for example, domestic objects will give visitors an intimate view of daily life. The finest tapestries, ceramics, books and domestic stained glass from elite households will be seen alongside similar equivalents used by ordinary people.

Pre-Reformation religious practice will be highlighted, and religion as part of everyday life will be examined along with an exploration of some of the exotic cults current in the later Middle Ages.

Together with the accompanying book, this exhibition will provide an ambitious reinterpretation of this period in English history, its rich visual culture and its relationship with Europe.

The British Galleries project, the most important to be undertaken at the V&A this century, will tell the story of the evolution of British Design from 1500 to 1900.

Between 1500 and 1900, Britain grew from an off-shore island to a world power and cultural authority. For the first time, the way the new Galleries are designed and the pioneering approach to display will enable the objects to tell this vivid and dramatic story. Famous and evocative objects from 400 years of British history will inspire and inform visitors: the Great Bed of Ware, referred to in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Roubiliac's statue of his friend Handel, Horace Walpole's cabinet from Strawberry Hill, George Gilbert Scott's model for the Albert Memorial, the first ever English fork, made for the Earl of Rutland in 1632 and discovered under the floorboards at Haddon Hall, the writing desk used by Henry VIII and the wedding suit worn by James II.

Until 2001
Highlights from the Museum's British collections 1500-1900 are being shown in Galleries 62 and 63, to the right of the main entrance.

The temporary galleries will be used to test ideas for display, labelling and interpretation for use in the new British Galleries. Visitors will be encouraged to give their views and the new British Galleries will reflect what we have learnt. Other British objects are on display throughout the Museum, including pieces in the Silver Gallery, the Glass Gallery and the Dress Court.

The Spiral Project was granted planning permission on 16 November 1998. Internationally renowned for its dramatic shape and form, the Spiral will attract many new visitors. Its development will be the vital step in preparing the V&A to meet the future, opening in 2004.

The Spiral experience will be quite unlike that of a conventional museum. There will be no permanent displays. The programme will change frequently presenting experiences and ideas from critics, the media, celebrities, artists, curators and consumers.

There will be an auditorium for public debate, film seasons and large masterclasses. A Learning Centre will house three studio spaces for practical workshops and demonstrations of the creative process, including a range of activities from traditional glassblowing, fashion design and industrial processes like injection moulding. It will be possible to handle pieces from the V&A collection. The gallery levels will each have a particular character and will stage significant retrospectives of the great names plus major shows on current art and design issues.

The design team working on the Spiral is world class. Daniel Libeskind, one of the world's leading architects, is working closely with Cecil Balmond, a leading design engineer and a specialist in museums and galleries, and his team from Ove Arup.

A display of text and plans submitted as part of the planning application can be seen at the Museum's Exhibition Road entrance.

Explore the Museum's collections through drawing and making activities and discovery trails. Activities are suitable for children aged 3 to 12 years, and children must be accompanied by an adult. The Activity Cart takes place every Sunday and also during state school holidays from 10.30 - 17.00.

Children can hoist a back-pack on their shoulders and embark upon an adventure across the Museum. Each of the four themed back-packs is full of exciting hands-on activities related to the collections. Family back-pack tours take place every Saturday and during some holidays from 13.30 - 17.00.

These are led by artists and craftspeople or V&A staff. They take place every Saturday from 14.00 - 17.00. Events are held in the galleries and are based on the Museum's collections.

For eight consecutive Sundays between 3 October and 21 November, visitors can enjoy performances, demonstrations, storytelling and family activities at the V&A. The programme explores domestic themes in art and design, from beds and wardrobes to floors and walls, with each Sunday taking a particular theme. The themes look at objects from the collections at the V&A through different periods and across different cultures. For details of the programme please call 011 44 207 942 2197 (please also call to confirm Sunday activities after 21 November).

Daily at 10.30 11.30, 12.30, 13.30, 14.30 and 15.30 (and additionally on Wednesdays at 16.30). Meet in the rear of the Cromwell Road entrance. The tours describe the history of the V&A and introduce a selection of treasured from the Museum's outstanding collections. Tours at 12.30 and 15.30 introduce the visitor to particular parts of the Museum collections.

These are held daily at 14.00 and last 45 minutes to an hour. They take place in the galleries and explore the wider context and history of the objects on display. For the full programme of gallery talks please call the Education Department on 020 7 942 2197.  (T) 302.234.8904    (F) 302.234.9154    Copyright ©2000, LLC