The Victoria and Albert Museum has updated and expanded its twentieth-century design collection by replacing the space known as British Art and Design 1900-1960 with a new Twentieth-century Gallery which opened on 22 October. Over 600 pieces from the museum’s permanent collection are displayed chronologically with specific themes such as nationalism and internationalism, mass-production versus craftsmanship, examined within that framework. The project has been co-ordinated by Sue Lambert, Head of Design, Prints and Drawings at the museum and funded largely from the internal budget with a contribution of £75,000 from the Friends of the V&A. Eileen Gray furniture, Alessi kettles, paper dresses, Swatch watches and Dr Marten’s boots are among the selection. Within the new gallery the “Now” room will show changing displays such as recent acquisitions and contemporary art and design issues. It will also be used to show work by design students inspired by the permanent collections. The first display will be on the work of the Catalan designer Javier Mariscal, who conceived the corporate identity of the Barcelona Olympics. Six new publications focusing on various aspects of the new gallery will appear next year, written by members of the museum staff.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as ‘Design update at the V&A'