In the Diary: Here are some highlights of the V&A public programme from March - May 2019. Mark your calendars as there are some great exhibitions not to be missed!
William and Judith Bollinger Gallery Opening 11 April 2019 Admission free Queen Victoria’s sapphire and diamond coronet will go on permanent public display at the V&A for the first time as the centrepiece of the William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, alongside eighty new pieces when this world-famous gallery reopens. Queen Victoria’s sapphire and diamond coronet was acquired by the V&A in 2017, purchased through the generosity of William & Judith, and Douglas and James Bollinger as a gift to the Nation and the Commonwealth. Over 4.2 million people have visited the William and Judith Bollinger Gallery at the V&A since it opened in 2008. It’s one of the museum’s most popular galleries, telling the story of European and Western jewellery from Ancient Greece and Rome to the present. The gallery’s three-month refurbishment will renew the space for the next decade, with updates to the infrastructure and display, including a specially commissioned cylindrical showcase at the heart of the gallery for Queen Victoria’s coronet.
Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams 2 February – 14 July 2019 The Sainsbury Gallery £20 – 24, concessions apply Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams is the largest and most comprehensive exhibition ever staged in the UK on the House of Dior. With over 500 objects and 200 rare Haute Couture garments, it is the V&A’s biggest fashion exhibition since Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty in 2015. Spanning from 1947 to the present day, the exhibition traces 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, and will include a brand-new section exploring the designer’s influence in Britain. Ensembles will be shown alongside accessories, fashion photography, film, perfume, make-up, illustrations, magazines, and Christian Dior’s personal possessions to explore the legacy of the couturier. The exhibition is a major collaboration between Christian Dior Couture, Christian Dior Parfums and the V&A.
Mary Quant 6 April 2019 – 16 February 2020 £12, concessions apply This exhibition is the first international retrospective on the revolutionary fashion designer Mary Quant in nearly 50 years. It focuses on the years between 1955 and 1975, when Quant revolutionised the high street with her subversive and playful designs for a younger generation, and brings together over 200 objects, the majority of which have never been on public display. The exhibition is drawn from the V&A’s extensive fashion holdings, which include the largest collection of Mary Quant garments in the world, as well as the designer’s personal archive and important international loans. In June 2019, the V&A announced a public call-out to uncover lost Quant designs and to capture these amazing personal stories in the exhibition. This call-out resulted over 900 responses. 35 objects from 30 individuals will be on display in the exhibition, including 18 pieces which have been acquired for the V&A’s permanent collection.
FOOD: Bigger than the Plate 18 May – 20 October 2019 £17, concessions apply FOOD explores how innovative individuals, communities and organisations are radically re-inventing how we grow, distribute and experience food. Taking visitors on a sensory journey through the food cycle, from compost to table, it poses questions about how the collective choices we make can lead to a more sustainable, just and delicious food future in unexpected and playful ways. Featuring over 70 contemporary projects, new commissions and creative collaborations by artists and designers working with chefs, farmers, scientists and local communities, exhibits present ideas and alternative futures from gastronomic experiments to creative interventions in farming, with several projects physically growing in the gallery space. This timely exhibition draws on the V&A’s close links with food, including thirty historic objects from the V&A collections providing further context to the exhibition. Built on the site of Brompton Nursery, the V&A housed an early food museum and over 150 years ago opened the world’s first purpose-built museum refreshment rooms.
Philippa Craddock: Floral Art Monday 11 March, 19.00-20.45 Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre £15-18, includes wine reception Join Philippa Craddock for a look at her career and her seasonal and down-to-earth approach to floristry. Stephen Jones and the History of Millinery at Dior Friday 12 April, 19.00-20.45 Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre £18, includes wine reception Hats have formed an integral part of the overall look coming from the House of Dior since its inception. Join master milliner Stephen Jones who has worked with Dior for more than 20 years, and V&A curator Oriole Cullen, for a discussion on the evolution of Dior’s earliest creations, to Jones’s own designs for John Galliano, Raf Simons, and Maria Grazia Chiuri today. Andrew Prince: Lost Splendours Monday 18 March, 19.00-20.45 Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre £15-18, includes wine reception From glittering Roman silver, Spanish galleons filled with gold and emeralds to the fabled Russian Crown Jewels, hoards of astonishing treasures have been created and then lost to time and history. Join historian Andrew Prince for a discussion about the many fabulous pieces that have disappeared, the people who owned them and their sudden rediscovery centuries later
For more information, visit vam.ac.uk/moc/whats-on