Victoria & Albert Museum in London England


Amazing experiences can be found in this museum in London, England.

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Victoria & Albert Museum

The total view @ Audio Light Systems

The Museum of Manufactures, as the V&A was known when it opened in 1852, was part of Prince Albert’s legacy to the nation in the aftermath of the successful Great Exhibition of 1851. It houses the world’s largest collection of decorative arts, from Asian ceramics to Middle Eastern rugs, Chinese paintings, Western furniture, fashion from all ages and modern-day domestic appliances. The (ticketed) temporary exhibitions are another highlight, covering anything from David Bowie retrospectives to designer Alexander McQueen, special materials, and trends.

There are more than 100 galleries in the museum, so pick carefully or join a free one-hour guided tour; there are several a day (they meet close to the information desk in the main hall) on a variety of themes including introductory tours, medieval and Renaissance tours and theatre and performance tours.

For fresh air, the landscaped John Madejski Garden is a lovely shaded inner courtyard. Cross it to reach the original Refreshment Rooms (Morris, Gamble and Poynter Rooms), dating from the 1860s and redesigned by McInnes Usher McKnight Architects (MUMA), who also renovated the Medieval and Renaissance galleries (1350–1600) to the right of the Grand Entrance. The rooms form the world’s first restaurant in a museum; the Morris Room does a splendid afternoon tea for £30 per person. There is also the Garden Cafe in the John Madejski Garden itself.

Free one-hour guided introductory tours leave the main reception area every day at 10.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm and 3.30pm. Check the website for details of other, more specific, tours.

The museum is open until 10 pm on Friday evenings, although the number of open galleries is reduced.

Additional information

Inside the museum @ Art Fund

The Victoria and Albert Museum (often abbreviated as the V&A), London, is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. It was founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

The V&A is located in the Brompton district of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in an area that has become known as “Albertopolis” because of its association with Prince Albert, the Albert Memorial and the major cultural institutions with which he was associated. These include the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Royal Albert Hall. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport. Like other national British museums, entrance to the museum has been free since 2001.

The V&A covers 12.5 acres (5.1 ha) and 145 galleries. Its collection spans 5,000 years of art, from ancient times to the present day, from the cultures of Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa. The holdings of ceramics, glass, textiles, costumes, silver, ironwork, jewelry, furniture, medieval objects, sculpture, prints and printmaking, drawings and photographs are among the largest and most comprehensive in the world.

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