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Great Exhibition Road Festival 2022 – 18 to 19 June 2022

On the weekend of 18-19 June, Exhibition Road, the world-famous home of some of the UK’s greatest museums and centres of innovation, will become a vibrant festival, celebrating the ideas, people and communities that are changing our world. The Great Exhibition Road Festival will be full of inspirational events for all ages and opportunities to hear from and take part in activities with some of the world’s great, innovative minds.

Trailblazers are at the heart of the festival, from the Victorian innovators of the Great Exhibition in 1851, to the people changing their communities today and those shaping our future with their research. Visitors of all ages will be welcome to discover the power of ideas, celebrate curiosity, and reimagine a new world.

Some Highlights

The Hands-On Families Zone is packed with games, stories, crafts, quizzes, demos and experiments. Alongside scientists, artists and engineers, you can build rockets, extract DNA,transform transport, discover how animals adapt to climate change, how morse code can help badgers or how bacteria can turn plastic waste into new materials.

The Curiosity Zone with games, experiments, arts and crafts activities revealing the lights that diagnose diseases, 3D printed bones, paper marbling, fluid dynamics and DNA origami.

The Smart Machines zone invites you to meet the latest Artificial Intelligence systems, digital decision makers, aerial robots and flying drones.

Medical Marvels showcases new medical research, inviting you to take a live, musical journey through the brain, discover how gene therapy is fighting diseases, visit the chemist of the future and see how disease modelling is fighting outbreaks across the world.

The Adult Zone, where you can sharpen your fashion upcycling skills, take in a cloud demo or grab a drink from the bar and relax in the garden – an oasis for adults in the middle of a busy festival.

At the Neurodiversity Zone, you can learn about the incredible creativity of neurodiverse artists and innovators, draw your own dyslexia, develop your own comic or science hero, make tinted glasses out of recycled materials, redesign the egg, or try knit bombing. Relax in a low sensory environment designed for tranquillity or enjoy art and poetry by neurodiverse creators.

The Future Design Zone reveals the innovations happening across Imperial College London. Visitors will design chairs with design engineers, hear 3D sounds in the audio lab and try out a full-size mock-up of an autonomous vehicle, leaving with a virtual experience of future city centre journeys.

The Climate Friendly Pop-Up Kitchen will serve delicious, healthy, affordable and sustainable food samples made from plant-based and largely local, seasonal ingredients prepared by professional chefs. Get a taste of sustainability, pick up recipe cards and get some top tips for reducing the carbon footprint of your meals.

The Amazing Molecular Science Show will give families the chance to explore the incredible world of molecules in a live interactive family-friendly show

Augmented Reality and the future of gaming, looking at the creation of new otherworldly sports to be played in real world arenas and playing fields.

The search for ancient life on Mars – Red planet scientists report on the latest findings fromNASA’s Perseverance Rover and its ground-breaking search for evidence of possible Martian life

Suppressed music – opera singer Peter Brathwaite discusses bringing to the stage music banned by fascists and voices oppressed by the slave trade.

The music label run from prison – join InHouse Records, the UK’s first record label to be launched in prison, to hear about breaking the reoffending cycle through music.

The future of surgery. Join Lord Ara Darzi, Professor of Surgery and co-director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation, and members of the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery at Imperial College London, for an exploration on how the field of surgery has evolved and how engineers and doctors are developing the next generation of surgical technologies, including imaging techniques, sensor technology, surgical robots and augmented reality.

Why we infected healthy people with COVID-19. During the height of the pandemic, researchers from Imperial infected 36 healthy people with COVID-19. Find out why, how they made it safe, and what they learnt.

Journey through the cosmos with storyteller Helen Tozer and cosmologist Claudia de Rham to discover how scientists use rainbows and gravitational waves to see and hear the universe.

‘Kaleidoscopic Minds’, an immense installation by creative pioneer, local artist Azarra Amoy, originally co-curated with Kensington + Chelsea Art Week, will illustrate the contributions of South Kensington’s community of neurodiverse colleagues to innovation and celebrate Exhibition Road as one of the world’s most exciting places to live, work, study and visit.

Festival Information

The Great Exhibition Road Festival 2022 – Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2AZ
18 to 19 June 2022
Admission prices: Everything is free but some events need to be booked.

For more information and tickets, visit the Event website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Exhibition Review – Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 12 February 2022 to 8 January 2023

The Victoria and Albert Museum presents Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature which is the first exhibition to explore the complete life story of Beatrix Potter, one of the most popular authors of Children’s fiction in the 20th Century. The exhibition in partnership with the National Trust considers Potter’s achievements and her many talents from storyteller, businesswoman, natural scientist and conservationist.

The exhibition features over 240 personal objects including rarely seen letters, manuscripts, sketches, coded diaries, family photographs, examples of commercial merchandise and personal artefacts.

The exhibition consists of four sections, following Potter’s journey from London to the Lake District, where she eventually settled. The first section, Town and Country explores her childhood in South Kensington in London; Under the Microscope highlights Potter’s interest in natural science; A Natural Storyteller reveals her journey to becoming a best-selling author and finally, Living Nature illustrates how Potter left a lasting legacy to her beloved Lake District.

Town and Country explores Potter’s upbringing and family life in Bolton Gardens, South Kensington. This section includes objects from Potter’s early years, including an album of family photographs taken by her father as well as artwork and furniture from the family home. Highlights include Beatrix’s earliest drawings and sketchbooks dating back to age 8 and personal illustrated letters sent home during family holidays.

In Under the Microscope, the schoolroom shared by Beatrix and her brother Bertram at Bolton Gardens are re-imagined. On display are some of their earliest observational sketches, from the schoolroom menagerie to a cabinet used by Beatrix and Bertram to store their collection of butterflies, beetles, bird eggs, shells, rocks and fossils. Beatrix had more than 92 pets during her lifetime and took inspiration from some of them for her stories.

Also revealed in this section is Potter’s passion for scientific study, showcasing several of her drawings of fungi on loan from the Armitt Museum and Library, which can still be used in scientific identification.

In A Natural Storyteller section, visitors discover how Potter’s career as an author began almost accidentally, developing from the stories included in her picture letters to family friends.

The exhibition introduces favourite characters from Potter’s stories as well as the real-life inspirations behind the tales, from a dolls’ house built by her publisher Norman Warne, which inspired The Tale of Two Bad Mice, to early drawings inspired by Randolph Caldecott, which led to The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher, and original sketches of gardens and landscapes inspiring The Tale of Benjamin Bunny and The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle.

Also on display in the exhibition is a intricately embroidered waistcoat and blue dress coat, sketched by Potter on one of her many visits to the South Kensington Museum (now V&A), which would later feature in her story The Tailor of Gloucester. These costumes are shown alongside a sketch of the waistcoat and finished artwork from the book.

Lastly, Living Nature celebrates the final chapter in Beatrix Potter’s story: her permanent move to the Lake District, to become an award-winning sheep farmer and respected member of the local community.

Visitors are transported to the Lake District with a specially commissioned immersive video depicting life in the craggy fells and Hill Top in Cumbria.

This section also explores Potter’s friendship with Canon Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley one of the National Trust’s founders. Beatrix Potter spent the last 30 years of her life buying and protecting land in the Lake District, eventually leaving a significant bequest of over 4,000 acres of land, farms and cottages to the National Trust.

This informative and interactive exhibition invites visitors of all ages to discover the real Beatrix Potter, a woman of many talents whose practical business skills funded her passion for sheep farming and conservation in the Lake District. Although best known for her books and stories, the exhibition presents a more rounded appraisal of the various facets of Beatrix Potter’s personality and her journey from the privileged world of South Kensington to the wildness of the fells of Cumbria.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the V & A website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Exhibition Review – Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 20 November 2021 to 8 May 2022

The V&A present a major new exhibition entitled Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution which is the first exhibition devoted to the international prominence of the legendary Russian goldsmith, Carl Fabergé, and the importance of his little-known London branch. The highlight of the exhibition is largest collection of the legendary Imperial Easter Eggs in a generation are on display together, several of which are being shown in the UK for the first time.

The exhibition features over 200 objects across three main sections, the exhibition tells the story of Carl Fabergé, whose internationally recognised firm symbolised Russian craftsmanship and elegance.

The first section of the exhibition highlights the important patronage of the Romanov family. A miniature of the Imperial Regalia, lent by the Hermitage Museum, made for the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle illustrates the exquisite craftmanship of Fabergé and how the firm became the official goldsmith to the Imperial family.

Part of this role was to provide a service to many in the Imperial family who gave each other intimate Fabergé gifts, this exhibition features many of these gifts including flowers made from rock crystal, gold and rose-cut diamonds and family portrait miniatures. This section also considers Carl Fabergé’s youth, his travels throughout Europe, and entry into the family firm.

The only known example of solid gold tea service crafted by Fabergé is also on display, one of the most magnificent items to emerge from the firm’s Moscow branch.

The second section of the exhibition tells the story of Fabergé’s time in London, after his success at the 1900 Paris Exposition, Fabergé was keen to expand outside of Russia. Fabergé’s choice of London for its new store was influenced by the fact that Edward VII and Queen Alexandra were already Fabergé collectors and the strong links between the British and Russian Royal Families.

Fabergé developed some of his works to his British clientele. He created hardstone portraits of the farm animals King Edward and Queen Alexandra bred at Sandringham, their favourite country estate, and objects enamelled in The King’s horse racing colours.

Snuffboxes decorated with topographical views, buildings and monuments were also popular. A nephrite cigar box, set with a sepia enamelled view of the Houses of Parliament, was bought by Grand Duke Michael of Russia on 5 November 1908, the day of Guy Fawkes, and given to King Edward VII.

Despite the success, there was a dark cloud on the horizon and the Great War and Russian Revolution provided a sudden and dramatic end to the Fabergé enterprise. In 1917, the Revolution reached Fabergé’s workshops in Russia and its outpost in London ceased to operate.

The final section of the exhibition celebrates the legacy of Fabergé through the iconic Imperial Easter Eggs with a display of 15 of these famous treasures. This is the largest collection on public display for over 25 years. The collection on display includes several that have never before been shown in the UK including the largest Imperial Egg – the Moscow Kremlin Egg.

The Alexander Palace Egg, featuring watercolour portraits of the children of Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra – and containing a surprise model of the palace inside. The Tercentenary Egg, created to celebrate 300 years of the Romanov dynasty, only a few years before the dynasty crumbled. Other eggs that feature include the recently rediscovered Third Imperial Egg of 1887, found by a scrap dealer in 2011.

The Peacock Egg of 1907-8, shown on public display for the first time in over a decade, containing a surprise of an enamelled gold peacock automaton

and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna’s Basket of Flowers Egg, lent by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection is also on display.

This interesting and attractive exhibition provides some insights into the history and legacy of Fabergé. The firm’s popularity amongst the Russian Imperial family and Edwardian high society clientele led to a wide and eclectic range of objects being produced which are still highly prized by collectors especially in Europe and the United States. It is of considerable irony that recently Russians have become significant collectors of Fabergé’s work. The exhibition also illustrates how far removed were some royal families and cosmopolitan elites from the political and social realities of their day. The Russian Imperial family are a classic example of pursuing luxury and excess whilst their country was plunging into despair.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the V & A website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

The Victoria and Albert Museum to reopen on 6 August 2020

Following one of the most significant closures in the museum’s history, the V&A has announced that it will reopen its doors to visitors on 6 August 2020.

Initially opening Thursday to Sunday each week, the V&A will reopen in phases. From 6 August 2020, visitors will able to enjoy all of the ground floor collection galleries including the iconic Medieval & Renaissance Gallery, the monumental Cast Courts, the stunning artefacts of The Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art and the much-loved Fashion Gallery, as well as the Europe 1600–1815 galleries on lower ground floor.

To coincide with the August Bank Holiday weekend, the first and second floor collection galleries will reopen on 27 August, including the ever-popular The William and Judith Bollinger Jewellery Gallery, Theatre & Performance Galleries, and the Photography Centre as well as our Paintings, Tapestries and Silver Galleries. The critically acclaimed exhibition Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk, which closed just two weeks into its run, has now been extended and will reopen on 27 August – 25 October alongside the museum’s Filthy Lucre installation.

A number of measures will be in place across the V&A to ensure that the museum is a safe, relaxing and inspiring place for visitors, staff and volunteers. Free timed tickets will be introduced to ensure that visitors can freely explore and discover the wonders of the V&A’s collection within a socially distanced environment. Further details on how we are preparing the V&A for reopening and the range of safety measures that are in place, from screens to sanitiser, can be found on the V&A website.

Alongside an extensive range of content and information, visitors will be able to go online and use the V&A’s digital map to make the most of their visit. In addition, from 3 August three self-guided trails, available on the V&A website, will explore highlights from the collection, the building’s architecture, and a selection of family favourites. The trails will link through to further online content including articles and videos to learn more about our collection pre or post visit. As the museum’s first and second floor galleries reopen from 27 August, additional trails, including a digital version of the museum’s African Heritage Tour and its LGBTQ Tour, will also be available.

The V&A’s forthcoming programme and opening dates for the next nine months are as follows:

Bags: Inside Out – 21 November 2020 – 12 September 2021
Epic Iran – 13 February – 30 August 2021
Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser – 27 March – 31 December 2021

Timed tickets to see the museum’s permanent collection and Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk are now available from the V&A website. Tickets for Bags: Inside Out will launch in August, and Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser and Epic Iran will launch in later 2020.

The Renaissance Watercolours exhibition will now be reimagined as a free display, opening November 2020 and presenting rare examples from the museum’s collection.

The reopening of the museum will see the delivery of major FuturePlan projects over the coming months. The museum’s stunning Raphael Court will reopen on 14 November, following a major redevelopment that includes full redecoration, state-of-the-art lighting and new digital interpretation. Visitors will be able to zoom in on the Cartoons, loaned to the V&A by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection, to reveal the texture and detail of the paintings like never before. The gallery houses some of the most significant Renaissance works in the UK and its relaunch will mark the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death.

Design: 1900–Now on the museum’s second floor, will open February 2021 and feature over a century of works from the V&A’s world-leading collection of modern and contemporary design including Margaret Calvert and Jock Kinneir’s iconic British Road Sign and the Mae West lips sofa by Salvador Dali. The gallery will explore the history of design and its impact on how we live, work, travel, communicate and consume as well as providing a new home for the museum’s celebrated Rapid Response Collection.

Opening hours:

From 6 August, the V&A will be open Thursday to Sunday each week from 11am to 3pm. From 27 August opening hours will be extended to 11am to 7pm. Free timed tickets to visit the museum’s collection will be release on a monthly basis. Keep in touch with us on social media, or check our website for the latest information.

Collection Galleries

Permanent collection galleries open from 6 August: Buddhism (The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Galleries of Buddhist Art), Sculpture (The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries), Fashion, Islamic Middle East (The Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art), Japan (The Toshiba Gallery of Japanese Art), China (T.T. Tsui Gallery of Chinese Art), Korea, Cast Courts, Medieval & Renaissance, Europe 1600–1815.

Additional permanent collection galleries open from 27 August: Medieval and Renaissance (300–1600), Britain (1500–1760), Sacred Silver, Gold, Silver & Mosaics (The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries), Paintings, Tapestries, Prints and Drawings (The Julie and Robert Breckman Gallery), Jewellery (The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery), Theatre & Performance, Photography Centre, Ironwork, Sculpture (The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries).

V&A South Kensington

Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk

The ultimate symbol of Japan, the kimono is often perceived as traditional, timeless and unchanging. Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk counters this conception, presenting the garment as a dynamic and constantly evolving icon of fashion. The exhibition reveals the sartorial and social significance of the kimono from the 1660s to the present day, both in Japan and in the rest of the world. Rare 17th- and 18th-century kimono are displayed for the first time in the UK, together with fashions by major designers and iconic film and performance costumes. The kimono’s recent reinvention on the streets of Japan is also explored through work by an exciting new wave of contemporary designers and stylists.

Filthy Lucre

Filthy Lucre is an immersive installation by contemporary American artist Darren Waterston, presenting a detailed reimagining of James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s famed Peacock Room – the sumptuous 19th-century dining room once housed just a stone’s throw away from the V&A and now installed at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Waterston has faithfully recreated each of the room’s individual elements with a twist, with the installation revealing a magnificent ruin crumbling under the weight of material decadence and the egos of those involved in its creation.

Bags: Inside Out

The UK’s most comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the ultimate accessory. From designer handbags to despatch boxes, vanity cases to military rucksacks, the exhibition will explore our longstanding fascination with the bag. Featuring innovative designs from Mulberry to Karl Lagerfeld, bags carried by Vivien Leigh to Sarah Jessica Parker, the heritage of Hermès to the streetwear of Off-White, and an exclusive look inside the world of the factory and atelier; Bags: Inside Out provides an unprecedented look at this global obsession.

Epic Iran

Epic Iran will explore 5000 years of art, design and culture, bringing together 300 objects from ancient, Islamic and contemporary Iran. It will be the UK’s first major exhibition on Iranian art and culture in more than 90 years that presents an overarching narrative from 3000 BCE to the present day. From sculpture, ceramics and carpets, to textiles, photography and film, the exhibition will comprise rarely seen objects from the V&A alongside international loans and significant private collections, including The Sarikhani Collection. Revealing new discoveries, this landmark exhibition will offer a fresh perspective on a country that is so often seen through a different lens in the news. Epic Iran will shine a light on one of the greatest historic civilisations, its journey into the 21st century and its monumental artistic achievements, which remain unknown to many.

Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser
Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser will celebrate one of the most iconic, imaginative and inspiring stories of all time. Offering an immersive and mind-bending journey down the rabbit hole, this fantastical exhibition will explore Alice in Wonderland’s origins, adaptations and reinventions over 158 years, charting its evolution from manuscript to a global phenomenon beloved by all ages.

Raphael Court
The Raphael Cartoons are loaned to the V&A by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection. The redevelopment of the Raphael Court is supported by Lydia and Manfred Gorvy, Julia and Hans Rausing, American Express, the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, The Hintze Family Charitable Foundation, the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation, the American Friends of the V&A, and many other generous donors.

For more information and tickets, visit the V & A website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Exhibition Review- Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 29 February to 21 June 2020

 

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The V&A presents Europe’s first major exhibition on kimono. Considered one of the symbols of Japan, the kimono is seen as traditional and unchanging. This exhibition challenges this conception, by presenting the garment as a dynamic and evolving icon of fashion.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition explores the social significance of the kimono from the 1660s to the present day, both in Japan and in the rest of the world. Rare 17th and 18th century kimono are displayed for the first time in the UK, together with fashions by major designers and iconic film and performance costumes. The kimono’s recent reinvention on the streets of Japan by an exciting new wave of contemporary designers and stylists is also considered.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Almost 300 works are featured in the show, including kimono especially made for the show, some from the V&A’s collections and the rest loaned by museums and private collections in Britain, Europe, America and Japan.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition begins by looking at the origins of the kimono in mid-17th century Japan. Wealthy merchant classes looked at the kimono as a status symbol to express their affluence and taste, leading actors and famous courtesans wore the latest Kimono styles and became the trend-setters of the day.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The simple structure of the kimono allowed for the creation of complex patterns using sophisticated techniques. The first section of the exhibition explores some of these designs and how fashion in the period was fed by a cult of celebrity and encouraged by makers, sellers and publishers.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Kimono were first exported to Europe in the mid-17th century and foreign fabrics were also brought to Japan and incorporated into kimono. The exhibition features rare survivors from this early period of cultural exchange, including garments made in Japan for the Dutch and kimono tailored from French brocade and Indian chintz.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The late 19th century saw a worldwide craze for Japanese art and design and Kimono could be bought from department stores such as Liberty & Co. in London. Japanese designers began to make bold embroidered ‘kimono for foreigners’, while the Japanese market experimented with European textile technology and chemical dyes.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The kimono’s biggest impact on western fashion came in the early 20th century, when the fascination with East Asia led to designers used the regions symbols and designs in clothes, jewellery and dress-accessories.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The final section of the exhibition provides evidence how the kimono has continued to inspire fashion designers around the world. The potential of the garment to be transformed is seen in designs by Thom Browne, Duro Olowu and Yohji Yamamoto.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The kimono’s universal quality has made it a popular costume for film and performance. The display includes the outfit worn by Toshirō Mifune in Sanjūrō, Oscar-winning costumes from Memoirs of a Geisha, and the Jean Paul Gaultier ensemble worn by Madonna in her video Nothing Really Matters, the dress designed for Björk by Alexander McQueen and worn on the album cover Homogenic, and original Star Wars costumes modelled on kimono by John Mollo and Trisha Biggar.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Japan is currently witnessing a resurgence of interest in kimono. Jōtarō Saitō designs kimono couture for the catwalk, Hiroko Takahashi bridges the divide between art and fashion, and more casual street styles are created by small, independent studios such as Rumi Rock and Modern Antenna.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This visually stunning exhibition tells the history of the Kimono, although the garment has its origins in the Japanese merchant classes, it has developed in many ways for the Japanese and global market over the centuries. The exhibition provides evidence of that development and how a relatively simple costume has been recreated in a myriad of ways. It is interesting that a garment that has featured as a part of cultural exchange since the 17th century provides endless fascination with designers and the general public.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the V & A website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Head of a Laughing Child: Rare London Sculpture displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum

The V&A have announced it has acquired a previously unknown porcelain sculpture Head of a Laughing Child (about 1746–49) after its chance discovery at a French flea market eight years ago. Following extensive research, the V&A revealed that the sculpture was almost certainly cast from an original clay model made by the renowned French-born sculptor Louis-François Roubiliac, who was active in London in the 1740s. The sculpture is now on display in the museum’s British Galleries, alongside some of the earliest examples of English porcelain.

Detailed research has confirmed it was made at London’s Chelsea porcelain factory, England’s first major porcelain factory established in 1743. The sculpture’s glassy body and glaze, as well as the surface pitting, are typical of the early experimental period at the Chelsea porcelain factory.

Roubiliac was the creator of the original model for Head of a Laughing Child. Roubiliac was a friend of Nicholas Sprimont, the owner and founder of the Chelsea porcelain factory, and evidence suggests Roubiliac considered using Chelsea porcelain for a major sculptural commission in the first few months of the factory’s opening. Additionally, the quality of modelling and the style of the Head, which combines Italianate, French and German influences, all point to Roubiliac as the author of the work. This is supported by documentary evidence revealing Roublilac’s roots and training in both France and Dresden, where he acquired extensive knowledge of Ancient Roman and Baroque sculpture.

Roubiliac would have sculpted the head in clay approximately 20 per cent bigger than the resulting porcelain figure. From this model, multi-part plaster moulds were taken at the Chelsea porcelain factory and then used to cast several versions of the head in porcelain. These were then carefully dried in a process that saw them shrink considerably. The porcelain heads were then glazed and fired at a high temperature.

Only one other porcelain example of Roubiliac’s Head of a Laughing Child is known to exist. Discovered in 1938, it has been in the Ashmolean Museum’s collection since 1965. The Ashmolean sculpture is decorated with polychrome enamel, unlike the V&A’s monochrome white example. In 2012 the two Heads were brought together for comparison, when experts from across the world confirmed that they were both cast from the same mould at the Chelsea porcelain factory. The plain white sculpture is more aesthetically pleasing, and its firing seems to have been more successful than that of the polychrome version.

The sculpture is displayed alongside Roubiliac’s porcelain figure of the painter William Hogarth’s infamous dog, Trump.

The V&A Ceramics collection encompasses the history of fine ceramic production from 2500 BC to the present day, with strengths in international contemporary studio ceramics, European porcelain and pottery from 1500 onwards, and ceramics from China, Japan and the Middle East.

For more information, visit the V & A website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Cars: Accelerating the Modern World at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 23 November 2019 to 19 April 2020

The V&A presents an exhibition looking at the car as the driving force for change in the 20th and 21st century. The exhibition brings together a wide-ranging selection of cars that have never been on display in the UK, each telling a specific story about their impact on the world. This includes the first production car in existence, an autonomous flying car, a converted low-rider, and a 1950s concept car.

Showcasing 15 cars and 250 objects across three main sections, the exhibition examines how the car changed our relationship to speed, how it changed the way we make and sell, and how it altered the landscape around us, from countryside to cityscape.

‘Going Fast’ opens the exhibition, exploring the role of the automobile in imagining a future world of liberated movement and technological progress. Bringing together a range of 20th century concept car designs, magazine illustrations, and film, the display references popular culture, science-fiction and novel technologies to show the central role of the automobile in a imagined future.

The section continues with the first-ever production car, the Benz Patent Motorwagen 3, introduced to the public in 1888. The idea of ‘speed’ quickly grabbed the fascination of the public, inspiring a worldwide racing culture, pushing the design and technology of cars to go ever faster.

Hispano-Suiza Type HB6 ‘Skiff Torpedo’, Hispano-Suiza (chassis), Henri Labourdette (body), 1922. Photo by Michael Furman. © the Mullin Automotive Museum

‘Making More’ explores the car as the archetype of modern manufacturing, the object that developed contemporary consumerism and turned production companies into global brands. On display, a Ford Model-T from 1925 traces the origins of the assembly line, its widespread impact on other areas of production and its evolution into the high-tech automated factories of today. As a contrast to the Model T, a custom-made Hispano-Suiza Type H6B car from 1922 will provide a close-up look at the luxurious and crafted world of early automotive design.

An advert for the GM LaSalle from a series showing the car in various European locations. Illustrated by Edward A. Wilson, about 1927. © Courtesy of General Motors Company, LLC

An exploration of General Motors’ early history will examine the establishment of their Art and Colour Studio turning cars from utilitarian machines into objects of desire. They did so by releasing annual model upgrades and colour ranges, making old cars redundant and new cars more desirable.

A specially-made film for the exhibition will also explore the powerful role of the car in shaping local subcultures by profiling five different subcultures: including South African spinners, California low-riders, Emirati dune racers, and Japanese truck drivers.

The final section of the exhibition, ‘Shaping Space’, explores the vast impact of the car on the world’s landscape, nations, and cities. It looks at how the petrol engine beat early electric and steam-powered competitors by promising the ability to travel the world. On display, global surveys of road conditions published by Michelin and a look at the special off-road cars called Auto-Chenille by Citroen to undertake a publicised treks across Africa and Asia, demonstrate the new market for cross-country adventure.

Messerschmitt, KR200 Cabin Scooter Bubble Top, 1959. © Louwman Museum – The Hague (NL)

The exhibition looks at the geography of petrol extraction, how it was celebrated early on as a miracle resource through products like Tupperware and nylon, and how the 1970s oil crisis inspired a new environmental movement. Early cars from the 1950s that attempted to address fuel scarcity such as the Messerschmitt KR200 bubble car, and the Ford Nucleon, a nuclear-powered concept car will be on display. It will also include a new film shinning a light on the landscapes of extraction, from ageing American oil fields, to the booming lithium fields in Chile, promising to fuel a new electric future.

PopUp next © Italdesign

Returning full circle to the fantasy images of a future world, the exhibition ends with the Pop.Up Next autonomous flying car co-designed by Italdesign, Airbus and Audi. On display for the first time in the UK, the car combines the four major innovations transforming the future of driving: electric power, autonomous driving, service-oriented, and flying.

Around the object, a newly commissioned film will juxtapose imagery referencing the original promise of the car (freedom, speed and efficiency), with its unintended consequences (traffic jams, pollution and social tensions). As the world faces another major turning point in automotive design, the exhibition examines how the car in a 130 years has shaped the world we know today.

For more information and tickets, visit the V & A website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Tim Walker: Wonderful Things at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 21 September 2019 to 8 March 2020

© Tim Walker Studio

The V&A presents the largest-ever exhibition on photographer Tim Walker with over 150 new works inspired by its collection from the 21st September 2019.

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

At the heart of the exhibition are 10 major new photographic projects, directly influenced by treasures in the V&A’s vast collection. Walker visited object stores and conservation studios, meeting many of the museum’s curators, conservators and technicians. He scoured the V&A’s 145 public galleries, scaled the roof of the 12-acre South Kensington site, and explored the labyrinth of Victorian passages below ground level. Along the way, he encountered luminous stained-glass windows, vivid Indian miniature paintings, jewelled snuffboxes, erotic illustrations, golden shoes, and a 50-metre-long photograph of the Bayeux Tapestry, the largest photograph in the museum’s collection. These and many other rare artefacts have inspired Walker’s monumental new photographs, and feature in the exhibition designed by leading British creative, Shona Heath.

The exhibition showcases over 300 items, encompassing photographs and the V&A objects that inspired them, short films, photographic sets and props, scrapbooks and sketches.

© Tim Walker Studio

Heath’s spectacular design guides visitors on a journey through Walker’s world. Text written by Walker adds personal insight and celebrates the talents of the many collaborators who help bring his ideas to life, including stylists and creatives Katy England, Amanda Harlech and Jerry Stafford, and hair and make-up artists Malcolm Edwards, Julien d’Ys, isshehungry and Sam Bryant, among others.

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The exhibition begins with 100 pictures from Walker’s previous projects and extracts from his Super 8 films. Walker first came to prominence in the 1990s with his unique approach to visual storytelling, blurring fantasy and reality to create pictures that can be surreal, lavish, humorous and touching.

These images include some of the biggest names in fashion: models including Edie Campbell, Lily Cole, Karen Elson and Stella Tennant and designers including Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Comme des Garçons and Rick Owens.

The first room of the exhibition displays fashion stories alongside portraits of luminaries such as Sir David Attenborough, Peter Blake and David Hockney, and a constellation of performers including Riz Ahmed, Cate Blanchett, Björk, Timothée Chalamet, Beth Ditto, Daniel Day-Lewis, Claire Foy, Saoirse Ronan and Solange Knowles.

Illuminations, which evokes the interior of a burned-out cathedral. On display are sixteenth-century stained glass panels and an exquisite illuminated manuscript made in the 1470s for the Duchess of Brittany.

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Another room, Pen & Ink, takes the whiplash graphic lines of Aubrey Beardsley’s provocative illustrations from the 1890s as a starting point.

Handle with Care, takes inspiration from the work of the V&A’s textile conservators who care for the museum’s world-leading fashion and textiles collection.

Towards the end of the exhibition, visitors enter a pastel-hued room reminiscent of a grand country house. A film projection flickers within a vast fireplace and the walls are hung with multiple portraits inspired by Edith Sitwell’s clothing and jewellery in the V&A’s collection.

Beyond the exhibition, several of Walker’s film installations appear throughout the museum’s permanent galleries, including the Tapestries Gallery and Norfolk House Music Room.

The exhibition Tim Walker: Wonderful Things runs from 21 September 2019 to 8 March 2020.

For more information and tickets, visit the V & A website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

 

Exhibition Review – Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 2nd February to 14th July 2019

The V&A presents the largest and most comprehensive exhibition ever staged in the UK on the House of Dior and the museum’s biggest fashion exhibition since Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty in 2015. Spanning 1947 to the present day, the exhibition entitled Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams will trace the history and impact of one of the 20th century’s most influential couturiers, and the six artistic directors who have succeeded him.

Based on the major exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve, organised by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, the exhibition has been reimagined for the V&A. A brand-new section explores the designer’s fascination with British culture. Dior admired the grandeur of the great houses and gardens of Britain, as well as British-designed ocean liners, including the Queen Mary.

The exhibition is spread across 11 sections and showcases the skill and craftsmanship of those associated with the House of Dior. The exhibition presents over 500 objects with over 200 rare Haute Couture garments shown alongside accessories, fashion photography, film, perfume, make-up, illustrations, magazines, and Christian Dior’s personal possessions.

The first section looks explores Christian Dior’s life from his early career as a gallery owner and the founding of the House of Dior in 1946.

The New Look focuses on Dior’s famed Bar Suit from his ground-breaking first collection in 1947.

The Dior Line showcases ten defining looks made between 1947 and 1957 during Christian Dior’s tenure at the House.

Dior in Britain considers Dior’s love of England and how he held his early Dior fashion shows in country houses and grand hotels around Britain.

Historicism examines the influence of historic dress and decorative arts in the House of Dior’s designs from 1947 to today, Dior had a love of the 18th century, and the Belle Époque fashions.

Travels explores how travel and different countries and cultures have inspired the various designers at the House of Dior.

The Garden highlights the importance of flowers and gardens as a source of inspiration to the House from garments to perfume.

Designers for Dior spotlights the work of the subsequent six key artistic directors since Christian Dior’s death in 1957. Featuring the designs of Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons, and Maria Grazia Chiuri.

The Ateliers showcases toiles from the Dior Ateliers in a unusual ‘cabinet of curiosity’ installation.

Diorama examines the wide range of the House of Dior, from accessories including costume jewellery, hats, shoes and bags.

The Ballroom celebrates the fantasy of the Ball and showcases 70 years of formal evening wear.

This remarkable, comprehensive  exhibition with over 500 objects including over 200 rare Haute Couture garments illustrates how Christian Dior transformed the face of fashion after the war with his New Look and how the House of Christian Dior as been at the forefront of fashion ever since. Dior’s vision included garments, accessories and fragrances, he launched Miss Dior, his first fragrance in 1947. Dior was one of the early pioneers of fashion as a global brand building a luxury fashion empire  built on great design and skills and talent of the Haute Couture ateliers associated with the brand.

The exhibition Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams runs from 2 February – 14 July 2019.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the V & A website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Videogames: Design/ Play/ Disrupt at the Victoria and Albert Museum – 8th September 2018 to 24th February 2019


Arcade Backpack, UCLA Games Lab (Photo by Robin Baumgarten)

The V&A explores the world of videogames with an exhibition entitled Videogames: Design/ Play/ Disrupt. In one of the first exhibitions of its kind,  it will consider how contemporary designers, players and critics are pushing boundaries in playful and radical new ways. The exhibition will take visitors into the creative process of developing games such as The Last of Us to Kentucky Route Zero, including original prototypes, early character designs and notebooks, will be shown alongside cultural inspiration from a Magritte painting to a viral cat video.

Winterfell, Westeroscraft. © Minecraft

From blockbuster titles produced by leading studios such as Splatoon from Nintendo, to independents such as Journey by thatgamecompany, the exhibition will show the craft and skill of creating ground-breaking videogame design. These examples will be presented alongside large-scale immersive multimedia and interactive installations from Minecraft to League of Legends and investigations of the social and political issues in the field, offering an insight into the design process, community and culture of videogames.

League of Legends, Worlds 2017. Riot Games.

The exhibition will explore videogame design since the mid-2000s, when major technological advancements, such as increased access to broadband, social media and newly available means of making, transformed the way games are designed, discussed and played. With at least 2.2 billion players worldwide, the reach and range of gaming will be examined within creative online player communities who modify games and create fan art; spectators and competitive performers at large scale esports stadium events and surprising spaces of the niche DIY arcade scene.

No Man’s Sky – ™/© 2016 Hello Games Ltd. Developed by Hello Games Ltd. All rights reserved

The exhibition celebrates the imagination and collaborative creativity shown by videogames players in real and virtual communities, transcending the role of the designer to democratise design on a vast scale. The double-height exhibition space in this section will feature a dramatic and immersive installation that explores the role of the player as co-creator. This will show the astonishing feats of engineering and construction undertaken in Minecraft from the recreation of the continent of Westeros in Game of Thrones to the mass spectacle of esports tournaments such as League of Legends World Championships. There will be examples of fan art and cosplay created by enthusiasts who interpret the medium in their own style and create costumes and accessories to represent themselves, or even their pets as characters.

The V&A actively collects digital design and is expanding its collection and explores how videogames as digital objects can be preserved and exhibited.

Videogames: Design/ Play/ Disrupt will run from 8 September 2018 – 24 February 2019 at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

For more information , visit the V & A website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here