Victoria and Albert Museum (London) Reviews
Description:The Victoria and Albert Museum (often abbreviated as the V&A) is on the corner of Cromwell Gardens and Exhibition Road ... more
Victoria and Albert Museum (London) ... in South Kensington, west London. It specialises in applied and decorative arts. Entrance has been free since November 22, 2001, following a short period when the Conservative government had imposed first voluntary and then compulsory charges. / The museum was established in 1852 as the South Kensington Museum under the control of the Science and Art Department, following the success of the Great Exhibition of 1851, the exhibition had revealed that though Britain was the leading industrial nation the quality of many of its products did not stand comparison with the best products of the continent, so the museum was in part formed to help rectify this anomaly, along with the Natural History Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Albert Memorial and the Science Museum — together they form a cluster of cultural sites known informally as Albertopolis. Its first director was Sir Henry Cole, a utilitarian and joint organiser of the Great Exhibition who acquired some of the objects from the exhibition for the collection. Over the years the museum attracted many important collections to it. Originally, it contained both arts and sciences and was designed to inspire visitors with examples of achievement in both fields. It was believed at the time that this would help improve the tastes of consumers, manufacturers and designers, creating a virtuous circle that would benefit the culture and the economy. In 1855 the German architect Gottfried Semper at the request of Cole produced a design for the museum, but the design was reject by the Board of Trade as too expensive. The first refreshment rooms opened in 1857, the museum being the first in the world to provide such a facility. An innovation at the museum was late night opening introduced in 1858, made possible year round by the use of gas lighting, this was to enable in the words of Cole 'to ascertain practically what hours are most convenient to the working classes' this was to fulfill an early objective of the museum of providing artisans with access to the best in design. In these early years the practical use of the collection was very much emphasised as opposed to that of 'High Art' at the National Gallery (London) and scholarship at the British Museum. This led to the transfer to the museum of The School of Design that had been founded in 1837 at Somerset House, after the transfer it was referred to as the Art School or Art Training School, later to become The Royal College of Art which finally achieved full independence in 1949. The laying of the foundation stone to the left of the main entrance of the Aston Webb building, on the 17th May 1899 was the last official public appearance by Queen Victoria, it was during this ceremony that the change of name from the South Kensington Museum to the Victoria and Albert Museum was made public.
Newest Review: ... the tube station bearing the same name; in fact, there is a subway direct from the tube station which appears above surface just opposite the museum. It is of course next to the Science Museum and Natural History Museum. **EASE OF ACCESS** The main bulk of the collections are laid out over three floors. An extremely clear map is provided and there are always plenty of guides and assistants ... more
Customer Victoria and Albert Museum (London) Reviews (2)
by - written on 03/09/10 (Very useful, 26 readings)
The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is surely one of those London landmarks we all intend visiting, but never get there. I visited last August with a certain degree of trepidation, particularly going at the height of the tourist season! I can honestly say, I loved every minute of it. **ITS HISTORY** Founded in 1852 as part of the Great Exhibition, its collections have grown to cover 12.5 acres and 145 galleries. It contains some of the greatest art and design artefacts in the world, with items spanning some 5,000 years of history. It's not just British objects, but objects drawn from all over the world. It stands in South Kensington, and is ... Read the complete review
by - written on 19/04/06, updated on 28/06/06 (Very useful, 187 readings)
Described in its own blurb as ‘the world’s greatest museum of art and design’, the V&A does indeed contain the pick of the crop when it comes to artefacts in fashion, glass, jewellery, paintings and metalwork. Situated in Cromwell Road, SW7, it is a short walk from South Kensington Underground station and adjacent to the Natural History and Science Museums in London’s Exhibition Road. Founded in 1852, after the success of the Great Exhibition in 1851, when during the boom of the Industrial Revolution, manufacturers and craft workers bought their goods to London to display them to the entire world. Thousands flocked to see the Exhibition, ... Read the complete review
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