Virtually explore the V&A Museum with Smarthistory as your guide
videos + essays
Link to the V&A Museum's website
Européenerie on a Chinese Table Screen
Why does this Qing-dynasty porcelain mimic ivory?
Horst P. Horst, Mainbocher Corset, Paris
Horst's Mainbocher Corset photograph journeyed across oceans and time to transform Vogue into a concept and a verb.
Conserving the Wolsey Angels
After their recent rediscovery, the Wolsey Angels go through extensive conservation and preservation after being exposed to the elements on the gateposts of a stately home in England, perhaps for centuries
Conserving Jacob van Walscapelle’s Flowers in a Glass Vase
The earliest known signed work by Jacob van Walscapelle undergoes thorough conservation work at the V&A, including reattaching paint flakes, removing discoloured varnish, and applying new varnish
Conservation: The Nasrid plasterwork collection at the V&A
A conservator at the V&A discusses new discoveries that have uncovered new information on their materials, techniques, history and provenance
Conservation: Cast of the Pórtico de la Gloria
In 1866, the Victoria & Albert Museum commissioned an Italian plaster maker to journey to Spain to make a copy of a monument of Romanesque art. See how the museum takes care of it more than 150 years later.
Conservation: Indian jama
Follow V&A's conservation team as they carefully clean and repair a magnificent 19th century jama – a style of garment worn by men in India for centuries.
Conservation: portrait miniatures
Find out how the V&A investigates and analyzes the miniatures in order to understand more about what they were made of, when they were made, and how to conserve them.
The Symmachi Panel
Holding on to pagan traditions in the early Christian era
Giovanni Pisano, Pisa Pulpit
Some distortions are deliberate. This pulpit has its critics, but it coheres in real life—just not in photos.
Illustration from the Akbarnama
Under Akbar the Great, the Mughal style of painting blended Indian, Persian, and Western artistic traditions.
Made for a sultan, this unusual automaton emblematizes the fierce hostility between British and Indian rulers.