Housed within the V&A, the library was, from the beginning, an integral part of the Museum, formed by, and for, artists and designers as an essential element of the educational and museological project of Prince Albert and Henry Cole after the Great Exhibition of 1851. Word & Image shows how the distinct character of the NAL was formed, and how its collections created a new kind of bibliographical resource. From a fifteenth-century book of hours to William Morris's specimen pages for Jean Froissart's The Chronicles of Fraunce, Inglande, and Other Places Adjoynynge; from George Cruikshank's studies of Fagin for Oliver Twist to an Yves Saint Laurent design for the House of Dior; and from Bill Brandt's photographs to the Book of Nails by Floating Concrete Octopus, Word & Image explores some of the finest examples of 'book art' in existence.
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