V&A Pattern: A Collection of Pattern & Design

V&A Pattern: A Collection of Pattern & Design

Mark Chamberlain
Dec 15, 2009

A copy of the new boxed set V&A Pattern made its way across my desk, and I couldn't resist. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is one of the world's great museums of design, and the book catalogs the patterns from the museum's collection. This first boxed set is made up of four slim volumes each contains a CD of high resolution images that will provide sources of inspiration along the lines of décor, design, textile, pattern, tone — and of course, color.

Each volume represents a different era in design, and what makes it so refreshing is that it's not just de rigueur styles such as Rococo French or Retro 70s. Indian Florals starts us out, and why shouldn't it? India was once being a colony of the Empire, and its design influences trickled back west in the seventeenth-century. William Morris merits his own volume, and to my eyes he's never tiresome. The Fifties reminds us what a watershed moment in design this decade was, transcending suburban sprawl and "Butterfield-8 Blue." Digital Pioneers brings us into the 21st Century.

I've already found use for this set as a reference on one of my projects — where would you go when researching Seaweed Acanthus? And the set's compact size, smart packaging and interactive CD images won't stray from my fingertips for long.

V&A Pattern Boxed Set #1 is published by V&A Publishing and available from Amazon for $31. Individual books and CDs are also available. A second boxed set is also in the works and available for pre-order on Amazon.

Images: used with permission

- Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter

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