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Victoria and Albert Museum

Grand architecture at the main entrance to the Victoria and Albert Museum on Cromwell Road, South Kensington

Grand architecture of the Museum

If you are in London and want to visit the best there is in museums then the place to go is the Victoria and Albert Museum. It is the world’s greatest museum of art and design. The collections that are contained within its walls are those of incredible diversity and fabulous scope. This museum holds artifacts from the world’s richest cultures. Right now there are over 3000 years worth of these artifacts within the Victoria and Albert Museum. There are art and design collections to satisfy anyone’s taste. There are over 27,000 works and over 43,000 images of fashion, furniture, ceramics, paintings, prints, glass, photographs, metalwork, textiles and sculpture.

Architecture

If your interests lie in architecture and interior design the Victoria and Albert Museum will be an incredible journey for you. There are architectural drawings and photographs of whole rooms and parts of buildings. There are objects from East Asia, South and South East Asia, and the Middle East. Wandering through the most comprehensive collection of British design and art from 1500-1900 is a very rare treat. The museum covers a multitude of design periods and styles. There is something here for everyone’s taste whether it is contemporary, traditional, art deco, country or Victorian. There are also 14,000 pieces of furniture on display in the museum.

Ceramics, Glass And Jewellery

The Victoria and Albert Museum has one of the most extensive collections of ceramics.

Panels of stained glass on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London

Stained glass on display at the Museum

From ancient Egyptian to contemporary studio pottery and ceramics, the collection has pieces from every master craftsman in the world. Since Queen Victoria loved dolls houses, there is an historic collection of doll houses, games, toys and doll fashions dating back to the 16th century. The museum’s very entertaining glass collection spans the 4,000 year period and contains pieces from the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

There is a beautiful collection of fashionable dress from the 17th century to the present day. The pieces of jewellery and accessories in the Victoria and Albert Museum define a specific pattern of style coming into the present day. This collection of jewellery and accessories is a very fascinating collection.

Metalwork, Photography And Textiles

The Cast Courts at the Victoria and Albert Museum

The Cast Courts at the Victoria and Albert Museum

The extensive metalwork collections that are housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum consist of copper, enamels, silver, pewter, ironwork, brasswork, armour, arms and medieval metalwork.

Any sort of painting, photograph and drawing can be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum. There are oil paintings, watercolors, pastels, cartoons, illustrations and portrait miniatures.

The photography collection alone houses over 500,000 images. This truly spectacular collection began in 1852 and contains many one of a kind images. The book collections in the Victoria and Albert Museum contain everything from children’s literature to comics, art and design of the book.

Detail of the grand architecture and sculpture at the entrance to the Victoria and Albert Museum

Grand architecture and sculpture at the entrance

One can explore the world’s most comprehensive collection of post classical European sculpture. Their national collection of Textiles covers a period of over 2000 years. The emphasis of this textile collection is focused on Europe but it has a wide geographic range.

The Victoria and Albert Museum is forever changing its exhibitions and display, so returning to the Victoria and Albert Museum is always a new experience. Their displays complement their permanent collections. The major exhibitions that are held at the Victoria and Albert Museum feature multiple rooms of installations and objects with sometimes a smaller display located in just one single case. The Victoria and Albert Museum needs to be on the list of everyone’s “to see” list while in London.

There is something here for everyone’s taste, even children. The exhibitions are free of charge and there are many workshops and activities for the 8-18 year old visiting the museum.

Even though this museum houses extensive collections of world class interest, it has not lost its charm or historical value. Visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum is indeed a rare treat.

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