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9 October 2003 -18 January 2004

The Victoria and Albert Museum will open its major autumn exhibition, Gothic: Art for England 1400-1547, on 9th October showing for the first time the glory of late medieval art from the reign of Henry IV to the reign of Henry VIII. The exhibition is the successor to the acclaimed Age of Chivalry (1200-1400) at the Royal Academy in 1987/88.

The V&A Gothic exhibition covers the period brought to life by Shakespeare's great history plays such as Henry V and Richard III, a period that evokes Agincourt, war with France, the Wars of the Roses and a time of English insularity. The exhibition will show, by contrast, how against this backdrop, the huge wealth and extensive patronage of monarchs, aristocrats, the Church and merchants made the late medieval years one of the richest periods for the arts in England. Fires, war, and the Reformation have destroyed much of the art of the period making the surviving art and artefacts extremely rare. The exhibition brings together a superb collection of surviving treasures with more than 300 objects including tapestries, manuscripts, sculptures, paintings, armour, jewellery, gold and silver chalices and reliquaries, plate, altarpieces, tomb effigies and stained glass.

Highlights include: the funerary helmet, shield and sword of Henry V; the crown of Margaret of York (sister of Edward IV), which has been in Germany for 500 years; the gold Reliquary of the Order of St.-Esprit owned by the wife of Henry IV and lent by the Louvre; a monumental stained-glass window from St. Mary's, Fairford; an early edition of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales printed by William Caxton in 1483; the gold and enamel Dunstable Swan Jewel; the silver salt and beautifully detailed silver-gilt crosier of the fabulously wealthy Bishop Fox, Bishop of Winchester, one of only three surviving late medieval silver crosiers.

Contemporary Space
18 September 2003 - 4 January 2004

Today's leading architects from Santiago Calatrava and Frank Gehry to Will Alsop and Norman Foster are being inspired by animal forms to take modern architecture in an exciting new direction. Not since the emergence of Art Nouveau a century ago has there been such an eruption of new building inspired by the natural world. It has been made possible by new building materials, computer design software, brilliant structural engineers and the suspension of the old rules of architectural good taste. Zoomorphic pulls together the worldwide buildings and projects which are in the vanguard of this new movement, and explores it by displaying architectural models and photographs alongside skeletons and stuffed specimens. Projects featured include Santiago Calatrava's Milwaukee Art Museum, which rises over its city like a bird with wings outstretched; Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners' Waterloo International Terminal, whose glazing panels are articulated like the scales of creatures such as lizards or pangolins; and Foster and Partners' Swiss Re London office tower, where not only the appearance but the structure and even the ventilation system bear analogy with sea sponges.

Zoomorphic - The Playdoh Skyline
Saturday 25 October to Sunday 2 November, 11.00 - 16.00

Create your own zoomorphic additions to the urban skyline using Playdoh. Moulded by hand, Playdoh forms are automatically 'lifelike'. By placing your Playdoh buildings alongside images of other buildings, both conventional and zoomorphic, children and frustrated architects of all ages will be able to leave their animal mark on the city. Free of charge. Location: In the Zoomorphic exhibition.

15 July -2 May 2004

The V&A celebrates the work of Ossie Clark, one of the most influential British fashion designers of the '60s and '70s. This mini-retrospective, featuring more than 60 garments, along with sketchbooks and photographs, covers the period 1965-1974 when Clark's designs helped define the spirit of fashionable London. From the maxi skirt to the 'nude' look and the trouser suit, Clark's designs set new trends. In addition, his collaboration with his wife, the textile and interior designer Celia Birtwell, resulted in some of his best known and most popular creations.

Ossie Clark was a key figure in the world of photographers, designers, rock stars and other celebrities who took London by storm in the '60s and '70s. The famous and the fashionable wore Ossie Clark's designs including Marianne Faithfull, Jimi Hendrix and Patti Boyd. He created jumpsuits for Mick Jagger, silk dresses for Bianca Jagger and dressed Eartha Kitt in snakeskin. Fashion icons like Twiggy, Veruschka, Jean Shrimpton and Penelope Tree modelled the clothes while David Bailey and Guy Bourdin took the photographs. Celebrity outfits in the show include Twiggy's fur-lined snakeskin coat, the dress Celia Birtwell posed in for David Hockney's famous double portrait Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy and Talhlita Getty's red crêpe evening dress.

PHOTOJOURNALISM 1930-1970: RECENT GIFTS TO THE V&A - 11 August -2 November 2003
This exhibition, on show in the temporary display area of the V&A's new photography gallery, celebrates two significant new acquisitions of 20th century photographs. Examples from a body of work by David Seymour ('Chim') will be shown together with photographs and related material from the archive of the John Hillelson Agency, including work by Erich Salomon, Gisèle Freund and Ernst Haas. Also on show are works from the V&A's world renowned photography collection.

Black History Month 2003
28 September - 2 November 2003 and beyond

Free events and activities for all ages
Black History Month celebrates Britain's black heritage with activities for families and people of all ages.

Celebrating Africa Weekend
Saturday 11 & Sunday 12 October
Join us to celebrate and explore the culture and traditions of the African Diaspora. Leading musicians and photographers will guide you through the diversity of this continent with a grand finale from musician, Modeste Hughes from Madagascar.

Carnival Costume and Banner Making
25 October -2 November, 11.00-13.00 & 14.00-17.00
Carnival is the theme for Autumn half term so come and join in by creating a drawing or collage that says something about your individual identity, and add it to the carnival costume or banners.

For information on these and other Black History Month events - call 020 7942 2211

The Big Draw -Be Remembered
18 & 19 October, 11.00 -13.00 & 14.00 -17.00
Pick up your drawing materials at the V&A and show how you would like to be remembered as part of the national celebration of drawing. First have a polaroid taken of your face, then mount it on paper and draw your body with the clothes and objects which you think represent you. A picture to keep for the future. Drawing materials all provided. Location: Chinese Gallery. Drop in event and free of charge.

RIBA/V&A Critical Debate
- Buildings, Meanings and People -with Daniel Libeskind and Stephen Poliakoff 25 October 11.00 - 16.00 This critical debate, chaired by Patrick Wright, will include panel discussions, individual presentations and one-to-one conversations. The speakers are:
Daniel Libeskind, Stephen Poliakoff, Linda Grant, Langlands & Bell, Richard Sennett.
Full price: £36. Booking number: 020 7942 2209

Friday Late - Gothic
31 October 18.30 - 22.00

To tie-in with the V&A's major autumn exhibition Gothic: Art for England 1400-1547 Friday Late View goes Gothic. Expect a chilling mix of film, music, performance and story-telling. Bar and food til late.

Wednesday Late View Lecture
A century of saving art - by the Director of the NACF
29 October 19.15 - 20.02

Since its inception, the National Art Collections Fund has helped save over half a million works of art for British public collections, with over 35,000 going to the V&A. The future NACF exhibition will feature many artefacts from the V&A's collection. David Barrie, Director of the Art Fund, will look back at the highlights of the last 100 years.

Activity Back-Packs
Every Saturday 10.30-17.00

Children can hoist a Back-Pack on their shoulders and embark upon an adventure across the Museum. Back-Pack tours are full of exciting hands-on activities related to the collections. There are eight Back-Packs to choose from: Chinese Treasures, Metal Detector, The Explorer, The Antique Detective, Magic Glasses, Fancy Furnishings, Murder Mystery and The Emperor's Party. Activities can last 30-45 minutes. For children aged 5-12 years.

The Activity Cart
Every Sunday 10.30 - 17.00

Explore the Museum's collections through drawing and making activities. The Activity Cart is sited in a different gallery each weekend. Loaded with a huge variety of activities ranging from making mosaics in the Sculpture Gallery to designing a kimono in the Japanese Gallery. Activities are suitable for children aged 3 to 12 years. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

12 October
Educational games and activities for the family as part of Family Learning Weekend. Free. The Big Draw
18 & 19 October
Arts activities in the galleries as part of this national celebration of drawing. Free.

Teddy Bear Story -100 years of the teddy bear
29 March -31 December

Teddy Bear Story -100 years of the Teddy Bear celebrates our ongoing affection for the teddy bear. Taking place at the Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green, part of the V&A, it is the most comprehensive exhibition being staged to commemorate the teddy bear centenary. Highlights include:
· Celebrity bears -including Rupert, Paddington, Winnie the Pooh, Sooty and Aloysius from Brideshead Revisited.
· Some of the oldest surviving bears feature alongside newer creations such as Philippe Starck's contemporary teddy bear.
Interactive and fun displays demonstrate the hallmarks of individual manufacturers, and also highlight the roles played by teddy bears in television, books, music, cartoons and charities. Children are encouraged to draw and follow trails as they learn about the history of the teddy bear. Famous Bears 27 October Come and find out more about Winnie the Pooh, Rupert and Paddington. Free.


The V&A is open daily 10am - 5.45pm and until 10pm on Wednesdays. The nearest underground station is South Kensington (Piccadilly, District and Circle lines).
For general information call 020 7942 2000.


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