Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum - London

Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A Museum) in London

This photo of the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum in London is part of one of the panoramic images found on the PanoramicEarth.com Tour of London. There are over 100 images taken from around London linked to an interactive map.

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The Victoria and Albert Museum (often called the V&A) was established in 1852 as the Museum of Manufacturers following the success of the Great Exhibition of 1851. The aim was to use the profits from the Great Exhibition to form a collection of items from around the world that would make art available to all and inspire British designers and manufacturers. In 1872 the collection was moved to the present site, then called the South Kensington Museum, and in 1899 it was renamed ‘Victoria and Albert’ Museum in honour of Queen Victoria and her consort Albert (Albert also has a hall and memorial just up the Exhibition Road in Hyde Park named after him) when the Queen laid the foundation stone of a new building to house the growing collection at the same site.

Thus the origins, what about the collection? The V&A collection now spans 2000 years of art from almost every culture and in almost every medium. Right from the outset the museum set out to acquire the very best of art available in every medium from glass work to metal work. As the market was far less competitive, it was able to fulfill these aims admirably to present the world with the outstanding collection we have today. There is also a particular emphasis on the development of British art throughout the centuries.

The V&A is on the corned of Cromwell Road and Exhibition Road and forms a cluster of museums along with the Natural History Museum (with the Earth Galleries) and the Science Museum. Once you have indulged the delights within the V&A’s 154 galleries, and explored the artifacts from Japan, India or the Orient, the local area around South Kensington and Knightsbridge offer many places to find refreshments.

The Victoria and Albert Museum is on the corner of Cromwell Gardens and Exhibition Road in South Kensington, west London. Entrance to the Museum itself is free.

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The image here shows part of the front of the V&A with the main entrance on Cromwell Road. Inside the entrance hall, at the focal point of the rotunda, is suspended a 9m high chandelier made of blown glass, typifying the museum’s raison d’ être. The full panoramic image can be found on the London tour by PanoramicEarth.com. An enlargement of this photo can be found on Flickr.

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