Victoria and Albert Museum

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The Victoria and Albert Museum (or simply V&A;) contains one of the largest collections of decorative arts, which includes from objects of devotion from the beginning of Christianity to ultra modern furniture. Founded in 1852 as Museum of Manufactures, to inspire design students, it was renamed in 1899 by Queen Victoria in memory of Prince Albert. The museum is being constantly revitalized, in order to improve its facilities and modernize the collection, bringing it to the 21st century.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is set at the heart of the city. It is the most excellent museum of ornamental art and design which can be found around the world. Founded in 1852, it still holds its main mission to essentially inspire and influence designers and manufacturers alike through its huge assorted compilations. The museum hosts a far-reaching collection, maybe the most wide-ranging and finest. Thus, dedicated followers of fashion could get an inspiration from the varied and rich collection in this museum. It contains works from the top fashion designers all over the world. Histories of the monographs and dresses of the 20th century on individual designers consist of details of trimming, construction as well as the fabric. Close-up views will expose the intricate detail, skill and fine workmanship of great fashion. Guests frequently spend a lot of fascinating hours scrutinizing the intricacies of each collection.

The heart of the museum’s collection is the clothes by primary worldwide couturier. These works symbolizes high notes of accomplishment where the vision of a designer has been recognized in extravagant fabrics by extremely skilled tailors, embroiderers, seamstresses and finishers. Majority of the interpretations and images provide the spectator a reverse outlook through the couture process. The details of the final works are back through construction, finishing, cutting, fabric choice, calico toile and the original concept of the designer.

The museum has obtained clothes as well which irrespective of finish and production are deemed to be putting the substitute fashionable pace. The collection of Victoria and Albert Museum also emphasizes an important aspect of the fashion business which is frequently ignored – the trimmings industry. Conventionally, the import or manufacture of things such as bead sequins, buttons, fastenings, buckles, belts and fashion findings is being undertaken by specialized, small companies. A number of the concealed delights of fashion before World War II are being illustrated in this museum.

Gallery Guide

The V&A; is mounted as a maze of 11 km, spread over six levels. The main floor, level 1, houses the Asian and Islamic galleries, as well as exhibitions of medieval Europe and Renaissance. The British Galleries are located on levels 2 and 4. Level 3 contains the galleries of 20th century and pieces of silver, metal, guns and jewelry; the textiles galleries can be seen on the northeast side of this floor. The samples of glass and ceramics are at levels 4 and 6, above. The Henry Cole wing, located on the northwest side of the building, is accessed only by the level 1, and houses the galleries on Frank Lloyd Wright and miniature portraits.

How to Explore the V&A; Collections

In the case of the V&A; you should plan the visit with care to not lose any focus or any area of special interest. However, one of the joys of the V&A; is to discover unexpected treasures. Do not miss the original rest rooms of the museum, one of which was designed by then-unknown William Morris. The Photography Gallery (room 38) has regular exhibitions of the national collection of 500 000 photographs, from 1839 until today.

Opening Times

Daily from 10:00AM till 5:45PM (Fridays till 10:00PM).

Closed on 24, 25 and 26 December.

Entrance Fees

Free of charge (except some special exhibitions)


Cromwell Road
London SW7 2RL

Closest attractions: National History Museum, Science Museum, Royal Albert Hall and Harrod’s.

Getting there:South Kensington tube station. Buses C1, 14, 74 and 414.



Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7942 2000

Facilities and Additional Information

  • Disabled access facilities;
  • Shops;
  • Cafés.

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