Victoria and Albert Museum

The world’s greatest museum of art and design

Modernism in design and architecture emerged in the aftermath of the First World War and the Russian Revolution – a period when the artistic avant-garde dreamed of a new world free of conflict, greed and social inequality. It was not a style but a loose collection of ideas. Many different styles can be characterised as Modernist, but they shared certain underlying principles: a rejection of history and applied ornament; a preference for abstraction; and a belief that design and technology could transform society.

Become a V&A Member

V&A Members enjoy a wealth of benefits, including free entry to exhibitions, previews, exciting events and the V&A Members’ Room. In addition, you will be supporting the vital work of the V&A.

Buy or Renew Membership Online

Shop online

The Modern Ideal: The Rise and Collapse of Idealism in the Visual Arts from the Enlightenment to Postmodernism

The Modern Ideal: The Rise and Collapse of Idealism in the Visual Arts from the Enlightenment to Postmodernism

Over the last three centuries the world has been modernized. From the first stirrings of industrialism to the definitive arrival of globalization, art…

Buy now

Event - The Twentieth Century: Masters of Modern Architecture and Design

Thu 25 September 2014–Thu 26 March 2015

24 WEEK COURSE: From Alvar Aalto to Frank Lloyd Wright, from Art Deco to Post-Modernism, this new, two-term course explores the major movements and practitioners associated with 20th-century design.

Book online