Victoria and Albert Museum

Cromwell Road,
London,
SW7 2RL

The Victoria and Albert Museum's collections span two thousand years of art in virtually every medium, from many parts of the world, and visitors to the museum encounter a treasure house of amazing and beautiful objects. The story of the V&A's foundation helps to explain its astonishing richness and diversity.

The Museum was established in 1852, following the enormous success of the Great Exhibition the previous year. Its founding principle was to make works of art available to all, to educate working people and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. Profits from the Exhibition were used to establish the Museum of Manufactures, as it was initially known, and exhibits were purchased to form the basis of its collections.

The Museum moved to its present site in 1857 and was renamed the South Kensington Museum. Its collections expanded rapidly as it set out to acquire the best examples of metalwork, furniture, textiles and all other forms of decorative art from all periods. It also acquired fine art - paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture - in order to tell a more complete history of art and design.

Generous funding and a less competitive art market than today's meant that the young Museum was able to make many very important acquisitions. The Museum itself also grew, with new buildings being added as and when needed. Many of these buildings, with their iron frames and glass roofs, were intended to be semi-permanent exhibition halls, but they have all survived and are one of the finest groups of Victorian buildings in Britain.

In 1899, Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone of a new building designed to give the Museum a grand façade and main entrance. To mark the occasion, it was renamed the Victoria and Albert Museum, in memory of the enthusiastic support Prince Albert had given to its foundation.

Map & Directions: Victoria and Albert Museum

WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes.

MOBILITY AIDS: Wheelchairs and walking frames are available at the information desk in the Grand Entrance. Stools are also available in a range of galleries.

DISABLED TOILETS: Yes.

INDUCTION LOOPS: Yes. Neck loops and radio receivers for use on talks and tours are also available from the information desk in the Grand Entrance

ASSISTANCE DOGS: Yes.

NEAREST TUBE/RAIL STATION: South Kensington, Gloucester Road and Knighsbridge.

BUSES: 14, 74, 360, 414 and C1.

NEAREST CAR PARKS: Union Car Park on Harrington Road and Chelsea Cloisters Car Park on Sloane Avenue.

 

 
Events at this venue
 
Book Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion Tickets
Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion
Balenciaga: Shaping FashionFrom 27th May 2017 - 18th February 2018The Victoria and Albert Museum In the brand new exhibition Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion, discover how Cristóbal...
Only £14.00
Book Opera: Passion, Power and Politics Tickets
Opera: Passion, Power and Politics
Opera: Passion, Power and Politics Sponsored by Societe Generale30 September 2017 – 25 February 2018The Victoria and Albert MuseumTogether the V&A and the Royal...
Only £21.50
Book The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains Tickets
The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains
The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains13th May - 1st October 2017The Victoria and Albert Museum Iconic and the V&A present The Pink Floyd Exhibition – Their...
Book The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains + 2 Course Meal & Drink at Hard Rock Cafe Tickets
The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains + 2 Course Meal & Drink at Hard Rock Cafe
READY TO ROCK? Package includes entry to The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and a 2 course meal & drink at the Hard Rock...
Only £47.50