Monday, 9 April 2012

British Design 1948 – 2012: Innovation in the modern age

I donned my glad rags and went off to the opening of British Design 1948 to 2012 at the Victoria and Albert Museum on March 28th. The significance of the dates is to coincide with the two Olympic Games held in London. If you look back to my blog on January 24th you will read about our speaker, Sandra Smith, who is Head of Conservation at the V&A. We are currently funding a travel bursary for a trainee in the Textile Conservation Department.

The opening was packed with no doubt the great and good, but certainly the young and the glamorous. It is many years since I used to attend gallery openings – they are fun and the noise levels have not reduced!

Sir Richard Rogers opened the exhibition with some observations of his own career and the development of the Museum from a dusty warren to the present day where exhibitions are lively, well curated and accessible to all.

The exhibition is a must and I will return when it is not so crowded. It started obviously with the 1948 Games, through the Festival of Britain to the modern day focusing on artists born, trained or based in Britain. It looks at buildings, objects, images and ideas; posters and clothes, toys and cars. I remembered much of it from first time around – certainly from the 1960s where London was swinging but I was just an observer – no money, no time! So not much has changed there then.

There is something for everyone there – including the gorgeous E-type and the Mini, movies, photos, architecture, fashion – Mary Quant and Paco Rabanne – a wide range. Given how short the lifespan was of many of the clothes of that period the conservation department has its work cut out looking after them!

British Design 1948 - 2012

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