Victoria and Albert Museum
Address: Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2RL, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 10:00 - 17:45.
Late Night Fridays until 22:00
Nearest Tube: South Kensington (District, Circle and Piccadilly Lines)
The Victoria and Albert Museum, or the V & A as it is affectionately known, is the world’s leading museum of art and design. Its galleries and exhibitions are based on the premise that by promoting the practice of design, we better our knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of the designed world.
Best described as a world treasure house, the collections and exhibitions show vast scope and diversity, with over 3000 years worth of artifacts from many of the world's richest cultures.
Founded in 1852, the permanent collection compases over 4.5 million objects. With over 12 acres of gallery space, the museum is also widely acknowledged as one of the largest in the world.
The Museum is itself divided up into four main collection departments: Asia; Furniture, textiles and Fashion; Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass and finally Word & Image. Within these areas, the collection includes ceramics, glass, textiles, costumes, ironwork, jewellery, furniture, sculpture, prints and photographs.
Of particular mention are the post-classical sculpture collections, the largest in the world, and items from the Italian Renaissance, the greatest collection outside of Italy.
In addition to its main collection, the V & A regularly holds some of the most impressive exhibitions on art in London. Temporary exhibitions form a large part of the museum's activities and it is usual for at least a dozen different exhibitions to be staged each year. Recent exhibitions that have had great success have included the Art Deco Exhibition in 2003, International Arts and Crafts in 2005 and Kylie - The Exhibition in 2007. It is through such initiatives that the museum is able to interest a wider audience, making the Victoria and Albert Museum one of the most visited in the UK.
In keeping with the times, the Museum launched its FuturePlan in 2001, a project that will see the redesign of the galleries and facilities over a period of 10 years to bring the V & A into the new millennium.
For further information visit our South Kensington London Guide