Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.
Side by side sit two instruments once owned by Italian horn player Giovanni Puzzi. In the bell of one, lavish decoration in green lacquer has worn away exactly at the spots on which Puzzi placed his hand to shape the pitch of his notes. The musician's grandson gave it to the V&A in 1926.
David Goldblatt is among the photographers whose work on South Africa goes on show at the V&A tomorrow
What should make the curve of a brow, or the cherry flush of a lip, beautiful? Why are peacocks' feathers, rich in delicate texture and iridescent colour so unlikely, so pointlessly extravagant? What can we learn from contemplating such things? The Cult of Beauty at the V&A explores "the Aesthetic Movement" in Britain, an umbrella term for groups of individuals working across the various artforms at the end part of the 19th century, who believed in beauty for its own sake. As an exhibition it manages a critical recouping of rather unfashionable Victorian art, and also makes an intellectual, historical case for corralling together such figures as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, James McNeill Whistler, Oscar Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley and William Morris.
Dishing the dirt... or how we learnt to grapple with life's grubby truths
French installation artist Felicie d'Estienne d'Orves will be at the V&A's Digital Design Drop-in tomorrow at the Sackler Centre Digital Studio, V&A tomorrow.
New extension plans are less 'explosive' than a previous design, writes Jay Merrick
Garry Fabian Miller's abstract artworks have been the subject of two recent exhibitions in London: Shadow Catchers at the V&A and The Colour of Time at HackelBury Fine Art, Kensington. But his camera-less photograms are far more a product of Miller's rural way of life. His works – which capture light passed through coloured glass, cut paper or liquid on to photosensitive paper – are tranquil, luminous images that nonetheless hum with intensity.
Dancers in the music halls of time
We might think that children today have a more cosseted, less imaginative, increasingly restrictive childhood, and that their school life is going to pot, but it’s not like we don't have good reason. Indeed, if it’s not parents being threatened by social services for letting their children cycle to school alone, or the banning of charity home-baked cake days in Scotland for fear of obesity amongst children, then it’s the worry that A Level and GCSE results are getting better each year - not because children are getting smarter, but because teaching has become less imaginative and more focused on how to pass an exam, rather than on how to think creatively and independently.
Cultural institutions are not businesses and should stop selling off Britain’s valuable artworks, says Tiffany Jenkins
Six years after the fiasco of its last attempt to build a new wing, the museum is trying again
We define our lives by the way we regard and respond to the spaces we inhabit. This summer the Victoria & Albert Museum is showing – scattered willy-nilly – seven small, newly commissioned, purpose-built structures by architectural practices from across the world.
The film star's crisp silhouette and little black dresses give way to gaudy Marie Antoinette confections
They may not be the first place you think to look while shopping for the best in contemporary design, but – as these original and quirky pieces show – museum shops are about much more than postcards and erasers
Claude Blair was not only a world authority on arms and armour. He revelled in the subject, and to the end of his life travelled widely in pursuit of new understanding, but he was also a doughty fighter for causes close to his heart.
With Table Mountain providing a spectacular backdrop, Harriet O'Brien soaks up the culture and glamour of South Africa's coastal gem before it gets swamped by football fever