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V&A HIGHLIGHTS - Spring 2004 - 2007



24 March * 25 July 2004

The V&A will celebrate the centenary of the birth of Bill Brandt (1904-83), one of the most important photographers of modern times, with a major exhibition and an international conference. The exhibition presents 155 vintage gelatin-silver prints from the Bill Brandt Archive and is the most important Brandt exhibition for over 30 years. Brandt's best-known work documents the vivid social contrasts in Britain during the World Wars. He also photographed the landscapes of 'Literary Britain' and a pantheon of great artists and writers, as well as creating his outstanding series 'Perspective of Nudes'. Bill Brandt: A Centenary Retrospective is curated by John-Paul Kernot and organised by The Bill Brandt Archive.

1 April * 11 July 2004

Next spring, the V&A will open the first retrospective of Vivienne Westwood, one of the most influential designers of the last 30 years. The exhibition will feature more than 150 ensembles mainly selected from the V&A's collection and Vivienne Westwood's personal archive. It will examine Westwood's extraordinary career from the 1970s to the present day. The exhibition will show how Westwood has been inspired by the V&A's historical collections.
Items on show will include:
· early examples of her work including provocative punk clothing worn by members of the Sex Pistols.
· pieces that show how Westwood has been influenced by historical fashion and culture. They include her interpretations of the corset, crinoline and bustle.
· outfits that have been inspired by the idea of 'Britishness' * for example, using tartan and Harris Tweed.

23 September * 5 December 2004

Exotic Encounters will explore three hundred years of artistic, cultural and technological interaction and exchange between Asia and Europe. The exhibition will show how East and West have always been fascinated with each other, and that the desire for and appeal of the exotic has shaped the material culture of both. Exotic Encounters will bring together a diverse and spectacular range of objects from Europe, India, China and Japan. The exhibition will draw on the collections of the V&A and those of major institutions and private collections in Europe, America and Asia to create a beautiful and stimulating exhibition.

16 September - 5 December 2004

Christopher Dresser (1834*1904) was a pioneering designer who helped shape British design over the last century. He is considered the first independent industrial designer, running a studio supplying designs to manufacturers including Wedgwood, Minton and Coalbrookdale. The exhibition will examine Dresser's career with displays of silver, metalwork, furniture, ceramics, textiles, wallpaper and watercolours. Dresser's influences included Japanese, Egyptian and Asian art and design as well as abstract pattern based on the scientific study of botany.

Dresser visited Japan in 1876 as the official representative of the V&A and the British Government, exchanging the best examples of European design for their Japanese equivalents. This trip was to transform his designs and he began to reject ornament in favour of form and the qualities of materials. It is this dramatic shift and Dresser's approach towards manufacture that has led him to be considered a pioneer of the aesthetic ideas which have dominated design over the last 100 years.

This exhibition has been organised by the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution in New York and will be on display in Spring 2004 before coming to the V&A.


12 February - 25 April 2004
Contemporary Space

Brilliant is the first UK exhibition of the best of contemporary lighting. It will focus on creative and innovative uses of light with a display of domestic lighting and new 'experiments' in light in the form of installations. There will also be previously unseen prototypes by leading designers such as Tord Boontje, Sharon Marston and Catellani & Smith.

20 May * 1 August 2004
Contemporary Space

Shhh* is a journey through the V&A, featuring new music by an eclectic mix of leading musicians and artists who have created work inspired by the objects and spaces in the museum. The exhibition will feature work by Cornelius, David Byrne, Elisabeth Fraser, Faultline, Jane and Louise Wilson, Jeremy Deller, Leila Arab, Roots Manuva and Simon Fisher Turner. Visitors will be invited to pick up a set of headphones and follow a trail of sounds through the galleries of the V&A

26 August * 28 November 2004
Contemporary Space

This exhibition will explore the dress, style and fashion of black people in Britain, looking at how they have contributed to British culture. The exhibition will focus on the contemporary but also look at recent history. Since the migration of black people from the Caribbean and Africa from the late 1940s onwards, their presence has helped to change the visual landscape of Britain. The style of black people in Britain has had a profound affect on British culture. In turn the black population has drawn upon other areas of the African diaspora to express their own cultural identity.

The exhibition will be based around themes such as leisure and work clothing, dressing for church, and the importance and meaning of black pride. It will l explore the subject through clothing and textiles, accessories, styling methods and practices, production of garments and specially commissioned photography and film.


V&A/RIBA ARCHITECTURE PARTNERSHIP: NEW GALLERY & STUDY CENTRE Opening autumn 2004 The V&A and RIBA are opening a new architecture gallery at the V&A to display their world-class collections of architectural drawings, models and objects which have now been brought together at the V&A. The displays will draw on works by the great architects of past centuries and of today from Palladio, Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren to Robert Adam, Le Corbusier and contemporary architects such as Norman Foster. The Architecture Gallery will feature a general introduction to architecture, thematic displays, educational interactive areas and three small temporary exhibitions each year. The gallery will be situated to the right of the main entrance to the V&A on Cromwell Road and has been designed by Gareth Hoskins Architects.

>From autumn 2004, there will also be a new set of study rooms and new
>stores in the Henry Cole wing of the V&A to rehouse the RIBA's
>Drawings, Manuscripts and Archives Collections alongside the V&A's
>Prints, Drawings and Paintings collections. The study rooms will allow
>the public to view the entire archives in an easily accessible way. The
>study rooms have been designed by architects Wright & Wright.


International Arts and Crafts
Spring/Summer 2005

Diane Arbus
Autumn/Winter 2005/6

Spring/Summer 2006

Autumn/Winter 2006/7

Renaissance Interiors
Autumn/Winter 2006/7

V&A opening hours
10.00 - 17.45 daily (closed 24,25,26 December)
10.00 * 22.00 Wednesdays and the last Friday of the month (except December)


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