At the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Virtually explore the V&A Museum with Smarthistory as your guide

Some background

videos + essays

Link to the V&A Museum's website

Horst P. Horst, <em>Mainbocher Corset, Paris</em>
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
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 <i>Flowers in a Glass Vase</i>
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
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
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
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
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
The Symmachi Panel

Holding on to pagan traditions in the early Christian era

Giovanni Pisano, Pisa Pulpit
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 <em>Akbarnama</em>
Illustration from the Akbarnama

Under Akbar the Great, the Mughal style of painting blended Indian, Persian, and Western artistic traditions.

Tipu’s Tiger
Tipu’s Tiger

Made for a sultan, this unusual automaton emblematizes the fierce hostility between British and Indian rulers.

Illustration from the <em>Akbarnama</em>
Illustration from the Akbarnama

Under Akbar the Great, the Mughal style of painting blended Indian, Persian, and Western artistic traditions.