Beyoncé dress among first objects collected for the V&A’s new east London outpost

·2-min read
The dress, which is made up of 61 metres of bright pink tulle fabric, was designed by Hackney-based Molly Goddard
The dress, which is made up of 61 metres of bright pink tulle fabric, was designed by Hackney-based Molly Goddard

A dress worn by Beyoncé and a huge portrait of a young woman from Dalston are among the first objects being collected for the V&A’s east London outpost.

They were unveiled as Gus Casely-Hayford, the director of V&A East, announced further details about the plans for the two separate buildings in the Olympic Park in Stratford.

He said he wanted the museum and the storehouse, which will also be open to the public, to be “deeply and spiritually integrated” into the area and “highlight the cultural dynamism, youth and creativity of east London”.

The dress, which is made up of 61 metres of bright pink tulle fabric, was designed by Hackney-based Molly Goddard and worn by the singer last year.

It will go on show alongside Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of Melissa Thompson, whom he painted after seeing her in Ridley Road market in Dalston, and a ceramic frieze by artist Mawuena Kattah based on family photographs.

The storehouse, which is due to open in 2024, will be home to quarter of a million objects including some of the V&A’s oldest.

They include a pair of ancient Egyptian shoes, a complete office interior designed for a US businessman by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, PJ Harvey’s first electric guitar and the archive of Sir Kenneth Grange, who designed everything from Kodak cameras to black cabs.

 (Diller Scofidio + Renfro)
(Diller Scofidio + Renfro)

The galleries of the museum, due to open in 2025, will be arranged by theme including a look at how artists “explore identity politics and issues of gender equality and female representation”.

Mr Casely-Hayford said opening a new museum was a chance to “do some things differently”, but added: “If you look at the principles on which the British Museum or the V&A or Tate were founded it was about inclusivity, trying to transform lives, drawing us together into single conversations that might enlighten and inspire.”

 (O’Donnell + Tuomey, Ninety90)
(O’Donnell + Tuomey, Ninety90)

The V&A has interviewed more than 20,000 people in east London asking what they want from the museum.

Mr Casely-Hayford said he hopes to visit hundreds of schools in the area before the museum opens.

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