Victoria and Albert Museum

The V&A Courtyard
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As the world's leading museum of art and design, the V&A enriches people's lives by promoting the practice of design and increasing knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of the designed world.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

10.00 to 17.45 daily
10.00 to 22.00 Fridays (selected galleries remain open after 18.00 - please see Gallery Closures for further information)
Closing commences 10 minutes before time stated

Closed 24, 25 and 26 December

Admission charges

Admission free
There may be a charge for some special exhibitions and events

Getting there

London Underground (The Tube): The V&A is a five minute walk from South Kensington underground station (on the Piccadilly, Circle and District Line). South Kensington is a five minute tube journey from Victoria, ten minutes from Covent Garden and Leicester Square and 15 minutes from King's Cross St Pancras.

The V&A is a ten minute walk from Knightsbridge underground station (on the Piccadilly Line). Knightsbridge is a ten minute tube journey from Covent Garden and Leicester Square and 15 minutes from Kings Cross St Pancras.

Bus: Buses C1, 14, 74 and 414 stop outside the Cromwell Road entrance. The Open Tour stop outside the Museum as part of their Double Decker Bus site-seeing tour of London.

Additional info

See website for details

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 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.

The Museum's ceramics, glass, textiles, dress, silver, ironwork, jewellery, furniture, sculpture, paintings, prints and photographs now span the cultures of Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa, and date from ancient times to the present day.

Although the V&A's collections are international in their scope, they contain many particularly important British works - especially British silver, ceramics, textiles and furniture.

Part of the RIBA Trust's British Architecture Library, a Designated Collection of national importance, is on display at this museum.

The collection provides comprehensive coverage of all aspects of architecture. It is fundamental to the study of architecture in Britain and is nationally and internationally significant.

Items from this collection

Collection details

World Cultures, Weapons and War, Toys and Hobbies, Social History, Photography, Personalities, Performing Arts, Music, Fine Art, Design, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Archives, Architecture, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • The British Galleries 1500-1900 tell the story of British design from the Tudor age to the Victorian era. Fifteen completely refurbished galleries are filled with exhibits reflecting all of the top British designers of the times. The galleries are enhanced by computer interactives, objects to handle, video screens and audio programmes. Highlights include the gigantic Great Bed of Ware (mentioned in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night) and the wedding suit worn by James II. Inspirational, beautiful and unmatched in scope, the British Galleries offer an entirely new visitor experience in a stunning and innovative setting.
  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Visualisation of the courtyard, showing the café,  new entrance and the revealed heritage façades

DISPLAY: Exhibition Road Building

  • 27 November 2014 — 15 October 2016 *on now

The V&A Exhibition Road Building Project will create a beautifully designed new entrance, gallery, courtyard, shop and café. The display includes models, visualisations, sketches and mock ups that trace the process of this innovative scheme from the early history of the 'boiler house yard' site, through the design competition and the development of AL_A’s winning scheme, to the build itself.
Displays complement our permanent collections; there are many free temporary displays around the V&A. They range in size from a single case to a room.

Room 20

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.vam.ac.uk/whatson/event/3817/exhibition-road-building-5353/

Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection

  • 21 November 2015 — 28 March 2016 *on now

Spectacular objects, drawn from a single private collection, explore the broad themes of tradition and modernity in Indian jewellery.

Highlights include Mughal jades, a rare jewelled gold finial from the throne of Tipu Sultan, and pieces that reveal the dramatic changes that took place in Indian jewellery design during the early 20th century.

The exhibition examines the influence that India had on avant-garde European jewellery made by Cartier and other leading houses and will conclude with contemporary pieces made by JAR and Bhagat, which are inspired by a creative fusion of Mughal motifs and Art Deco ‘Indian’ designs.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/exhibition-bejewelled-treasures-the-al-thani-collection/about-the-exhibition/

photograph of two children

Julia Margaret Cameron

  • 28 November 2015 — 21 February 2016 *on now

Supported by The Bernard Lee Schwartz Foundation
This donation was made possible by the American Friends of the V&A

To mark the bicentenary of the birth of Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879), one of the most important and experimental photographers of the 19th century, the V&A presents 100 of her photographs from the Museum’s collection.

The exhibition will examine her relationship with the V&A’s founding director, Sir Henry Cole, who presented the first museum exhibition of her work (and the only one during her lifetime).

It includes a number of works given and sold directly by Cameron to the Museum, letters written by Cameron to Cole that reveal her questions on technical and practical matters, and Sir Henry Cole’s diary which describes sitting for a portrait by Cameron.

The works on display show Cameron’s technical experiments in striving to make highly artistic photographs which she expected would ‘electrify you with delight and startle the world’.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/julia-margaret-cameron/about-the-exhibition/

Botticelli Reimagined

  • 5 March — 3 July 2016

This innovative exhibition has been jointly organised by the V&A in partnership with Staatliche Museen zu Berlin to explore the enduring impact of the Florentine painter Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) from the Pre-Raphaelites to today.

Botticelli is now celebrated as one of the greatest artists of all time, but was largely forgotten after his death, only to be rediscovered around 1800. It will include around 40 original works by Botticelli from great collections across the world shown alongside more recent masterpieces of art and design including work by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, René Magritte, Elsa Schiaparelli and Andy Warhol.

Website

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/exhibition-botticelli-reimagined/about-the-exhibition/

Paul Strand: Photography and Film for the 20th Century

  • 19 March — 3 July 2016

A major retrospective of the work of American photographer and film maker, Paul Strand (1890-1976), and the first in the UK since the artist’s death.

Strand was one of the greatest and most influential photographers of the 20th century whose images have defined the way fine art and documentary photography is understood and practiced today.

Website

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/exhibition-paul-strand-photography-and-film-for-the-20th-century/

Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear

  • 16 April 2016 — 12 March 2017

This exhibition will address the practicalities of underwear and its role in the fashionable wardrobe whilst highlighting its sensual, sexual appeal.

The exhibition will explore dress reformers and designers who argued for the beauty of the natural body, as well as entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators who have played a critical role in the development of increasingly more effective and comfortable underwear.

Website

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/exhibition-undressed-a-brief-history-of-underwear/

You Say You Want a Revolution: Records & Rebels 1966-70

  • 10 September 2016 — 26 February 2017

This major exhibition will examine the late 1960s as a moment when youth culture drove an optimistic idealism, and motivated people to come together to question the established power structures across every area of society. Through objects relating to music, fashion, film, design and politics, an immersive soundtrack and theatrical three dimensional design, it will investigate the cultural upheavals and the changes within the law that took place during those five revolutionary years.

The spine of the exhibition will be a musical odyssey through some of the greatest music and performances of the 20th century, from Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change is Gonna Come’, to The Who’s ‘My Generation’, to Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock; and will focus on particular moments or environments that defined the cultural and social vanguard of the period, including clubs and counterculture, the Paris protests of May 1968, World Fairs, the Woodstock Festival of 1969 and communes on the West Coast of America. The exhibition considers how the finished and unfinished revolutions of the 1960s changed the way we live today and affect the way we think about the future.

Website

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/exhibition-you-say-you-want-a-revolution-records-and-rebels-1966-70/about-the-exhibition/

Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery

  • 1 October 2016 — 5 February 2017

From the 12th to the 15th centuries, England was internationally famous mainly for one type of artistic product – elaborate luxury embroideries.

These objects, were sought after by Kings, Popes and Cardinals, and often bear elaborate imagery. This exhibition will highlight the exquisite craftsmanship of the pieces and explore the world in which they were created.

Alongside the magnificent embroideries, many from the V&A’s own collection, will be related material in other media such as paintings, manuscripts, metalwork and sculpture.

Website

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/exhibition-opus-anglicanum-masterpieces-of-english-medieval-embroidery/about-the-exhibition/

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Architectural Style

http://www.vam.ac.uk/vastatic/microsites/architecture/style_level1.php?id=0

Website with pictures and descriptions of a broad range of architectural styles, historical and contemporary Western, Asian and Islamic. There is also an interactive Style Quiz.

Drop-in Design

http://www.vam.ac.uk/activ_events/families/index.html

Hunt for ideas in the gallery then have a go at your own designs, using a design challenge. Creative sessions in the V&A's Sackler Centre on Sundays between 10.30 and 17.00, for all ages.

How to obtain

Drop-in Design events are free and there is no need to book - just drop in.

Getting there

London Underground (The Tube): The V&A is a five minute walk from South Kensington underground station (on the Piccadilly, Circle and District Line). South Kensington is a five minute tube journey from Victoria, ten minutes from Covent Garden and Leicester Square and 15 minutes from King's Cross St Pancras.

The V&A is a ten minute walk from Knightsbridge underground station (on the Piccadilly Line). Knightsbridge is a ten minute tube journey from Covent Garden and Leicester Square and 15 minutes from Kings Cross St Pancras.

Bus: Buses C1, 14, 74 and 414 stop outside the Cromwell Road entrance. The Open Tour stop outside the Museum as part of their Double Decker Bus site-seeing tour of London.

Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Road
South Kensington
London
Greater London
SW7 2RL
England

Website

www.vam.ac.uk

E-mail

vanda@vam.ac.uk

Telephone

020 7942 2000

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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