V&A to Collect Everyday Paraphernalia in New Gallery

V&A to Collect Everyday Paraphernalia in New Gallery
False eyelashes endorsed by Katy Perry, "Cool Kitty" style, Manufactured by Eylure, 2013
(Photo (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London)

The Victoria & Albert Museum is to start collecting contemporary paraphernalia, such as IKEA teddy bears and a pair of Katy Perry brand false eyelashes.

The objects will go on display in a new gallery in the V&A, opening on July 5.


The museum recently acquired the objects as part of a new tactic called “Rapid Response Collecting.”

The gallery will be updated regularly, in an effort to be responsive to the latest global events, technological advances, political events or pop culture phenomena.

The pieces acquired will illustrate how these events influence art, design and architecture.

This means that objects of contemporary interest will be maintained for future generations visiting the museum.

One launch point for the collection was last year’s Rana Plaza factory disaster in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The factory – which produced clothes for many major western brands, most notably Primark – collapsed, killing 1129 workers.

The museum acquired a pair of Primark jeans soon after the disaster, which will now go on display.

Corinna Gardner, the V&A’s curator of contemporary product design and now curator of Rapid Response Collecting, said: “much of the commentary in the media around the Rana Plaza disaster was about international labour laws, building control in Bangladesh and the responsibilities of global corporations and of consumers.

“But at its heart was a material thing: a pair of jeans that you can buy on any British high street.”

Rapid Response Collecting Gallery at the V&A, opens July 5