Fragile Beauty at the V&A

Dakota Hair photograph from the Fragile Beauty exhibition at the V&A.

Photo credit: Ryan McGinley, Dakota Hair, 2004 © Ryan McGinley Studios

Tomorrow sees the opening of a major photography exhibition, Fragile Beauty, at the V&A.

The collection

The 300 exhibits are from the private collection of Sir Elton John and David Furnish. The extensive display presents some of the most thought-provoking photographs from the 20th and 21st centuries by 140 photographers.

Subject matter

Fragile Beauty explores the portrayal of strength and vulnerability. It’s divided into the themes of fashion, reportage, celebrity, the male body and American photography. Key moments in history are documented including the Civil Rights movement, AIDS activism in the 1980s and the events surrounding 11 September 2001.

Comment from the collectors

Sir Elton John and David Furnish explain: “Since we first loaned a selection of Horst photographs to the V&A in 2014, our relationship with the museum has grown significantly. Fragile Beauty takes our collaboration to really exciting new heights, showcasing some of the most beloved photographers and iconic images from within our collection. Working alongside the V&A again has been a truly memorable experience, and we look forward to sharing this exhibition with the public.”


The exhibition will run from 18 May until 5 January.

Getting there

The V&A is a pleasant 30-minute walk from 9 Hertford Street, taking you along the southern edge of Hyde Park into Knightsbridge. It can also be reached by taking the Piccadilly line from Hyde Park Corner to South Kensington.

Also in the area

The Natural History Museum
The Science Museum
Kensington Palace

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