Victoria & Albert Museum, London

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 66 Reviews

Cromwell Road, SW7 0 20 7942 2000

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  • Victoria & Albert Museum, South Kensington, London
    Victoria & Albert Museum, South...
    by spidermiss
  • The main hall
    The main hall
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  • John Madejski Garden at the V&A
    John Madejski Garden at the V&A
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    A shrine of applied arts

    by cheezecake_deli Written Jan 22, 2014
    John Madejski Garden at the V&A

    The V&A is one of the best museums in London, dedicated to applied arts from around the world. Collections are arranged by materials and origin, so you can hone in on the bits of interest. Sculpture and fashion are particularly strong. Entry is free (though a donation suggested) and there are periodic special exhibitions, often excellent, with separate entry fees. Of the triumvirate of museums in South Kensington, the V&A is the only one not completely overrun by children (not that I have anything against kids...) and has the best cafe (with gorgeous rooms) and the best shop. This one is a real gem!

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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    Victoria & Albert Museum

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Dec 6, 2013
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    This museum was created from the personal collection of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and its scope is pretty breathtaking. Housed in a grand 19th century building built for the purpose of displaying the collection.

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    Victoria & Albert Musuem

    by spidermiss Updated Nov 13, 2013

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    Victoria & Albert Museum, South Kensington, London
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    Is known as 'The world's greatest museum of art and design' (V&A, 2011). I paid my second visit (July 2011) to this museum and thoroughly enjoyed my visit. There is so much so to see there! In order for me not to be overwhelmed by it all, I decided to take two free tours: The Introductory Tour and Theatre & Performance Galleries Tour.

    I particiapted in the Theatre & Performance Galleries Tour. I thoroughly enjoyed looking around the galleries and seeing the costumes and props used in theatre over the decades. The guide gave us an insight into theatre life from creating to producing. Since 2007, the galleries were part of the former Theatre Museum in Covent Gardens.

    The second tour was the Introductory one where I looked around the Museum's highlight including objects and arts from the Islamic, Medieval & Renaissance, China and British galleries.

    The tours both last approximately an hour each and are available daily. There are also other tours available and you can find out more information via the museum's website.

    The V&A Museum is the first musuem to have a cafe and now has three cafes (William Morris, Gamble Room, Edward Pointer) in the museum.

    The museum is opened daily, 10.00-17.45 (Selected galleries until 22.00 on Fridays).

    The museum is part of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group

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    DAVID BOWIE IS...

    by Orkaena Updated Jun 14, 2013

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    David Bowie, an Icon at the VAM
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    For my pleasure the Victoria and Albert Museum went beyond its pure art and design character with the exhibition "David Bowie is", from 23 March to 11 August 2013.
    "The VAM has been given unprecedented access to the David Bowie Archive to curate the first international retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie. David Bowie is features more than 300 objects that include handwritten lyrics, original costumes, fashion, photography, film, music videos, set designs and Bowie's own instruments." (VAM site statement)
    Of course, I am a fan of David, as composer/singer and as an actor as well, because, who can forget his extraordinary performance as the british army major Jack Celliers in the movie "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence"?
    Again, a crowd invaded the museum but this time it was not so annoying (a bit less people), and I have had my first great experience smelling and tasting the british culture.
    Strongly recommended, if you are wandering London before 11 of August 2013 then don't miss this fantastic experience.
    The VAM well worth a visit by it self, but so much more because of David Bowie.

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    Victoria & Albert Museum

    by shrimp56 Updated Mar 29, 2013

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    Victoria & Albert Museum: Fashion
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    The Victoria & Albert Museum was founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and her consort Prince Albert. Located in South Kensington, this museum contains major collections in the decorative arts: glass, textiles, ceramics, statutes, sculpture, prints and drawings from every major world cultural center. Exhibits range from David Bowie to Treasures of the Royal Courts and photographs taken in the Middle East. Truly, it has something for everyone. It is also my favorite museum in London.

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    Victoria and Albert Museum.

    by Regina1965 Updated Jan 15, 2013

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    Huge Trojan��s columns in the Cast Courts.
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    The Victoria and Albert Museum is one of three fantastic museums in South-Kensington. The other ones being The Science Museum and The Natural History Museum, on which I have added tips. I have visited all these three museums in one day - not recommended though, as each one deserves one day to enjoy them to the fullest. And Victoria and Albert museum contains 4.5 million objects, so it is a day's work enjoying them all. I would say that 4 hours at least is needed for the Victoria and Albert Museum.

    Victoria and Albert museum is so vast and has 145 galleris, so that you can easily get lost in there and a rest in the beautiful John Majeski garden is a good idea. There are wonderful sculptures and painting galleries. And special galleries on Asian countries and others on European countries, very well made. And of course on English history through the centuries.

    There is a glassware showroom - I like what they have done to the railings on the stairs - they are made of glass - very beautiful (photos in a travelogue).

    At the Cast Courts there are some huge pillars, the Trojan´s columns, - and I mean huge, it was even difficult to take photos of them. This part of the museum is mind-blowing.

    There is a gallery on fashion through the years and when I was visiting they had a special exhibition of Grace Kelly's dresses. That was the main reason why I wanted to visit in May 2010. When I visited again in December 2012 there was an exhibition on Hollywood dresses, but there was an entrance fee, so I only saw part of it from the floor above the exhibition.

    There is a fantastic jewellery section at the museum, photos are forbidden in there, but people were taking photos left and right with their mobile phones. There is some awesome jewellery in there. It is not easy to find this section though and I had to ask for directions.

    Opening hours: Every day: 10-17:45 - Fridays: 10-22.

    Admission: Free.

    Photos are allowed in most exhibition rooms at the museum.

    I add more photos in a travelogue.

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    Educating the masses

    by mikey_e Written Dec 12, 2012

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    Inside the Museum
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    It is hard to imagine a city in which so many museums and galleries compete for the imagination and amazement of visitors without being drawn to the idea of London. There is no shortage of institutions and galleries that offer individuals the opportunity to explore and investigate all aspects of the human experience, and this is perhaps a tribute to the categorization and exploration were marks of a true British gentleman, at least in the period before the World Wars. The Victoria and Albert Museum, founded in the 1850s, is yet another example of this belief, and one that shows how these institutions transcend their stated mandates. While the V&A may be, nominally, a museum dedicated to the applied arts and design, it is far from a temple of decoration and camp. The Museum houses a massive collection of objets-d’art, textiles, silver and glassware and other items that have been collected not just from Europe but from throughout the world. These items are carefully and lovingly catalogued and displayed in order to provide visitors with a detailed and informative view into daily arts and culture of, usually, the aristocracy of many of the world’s documented civilizations. The initial raison-d’être of the museum was to provide educational material for the masses, as opposed to stimulation for the aristocracy (seen to be the purview of the National Gallery) and erudite materials for scholars (the British Museum). It collected items related to decorative arts and the sciences, as a means of instructing the masses in order to boost productivity, although the sciences section was hacked off later to create a separate museum. Over the years, the educational mandate was maintained but widened, to offer a greater view of the same sorts of decorative endeavours that appeared in order cultures, particularly those in Asia and the Islamic countries. The architecture of the building too is intended to reflect the instructive mandate of the institution, and its current building (which has been its seat since moving to Kensington in the late 1850s) continues a variety of architectural and decorative styles, drawn primarily from Renaissance and Mediaeval revivals.

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    VICTORIA and ALBERT MUSEUM

    by davidjo Updated Nov 27, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    V & A MUSEUM
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    The world's greatest museum is surely one of the grandest places to visit in London, not only because it is free but has 145 galleries and 4,500,000 objects on show. The V & A first opened in 1852 and had two different locations before moving to the present site in Kensington in 1857 although it has been expanded since then. The building itself is magnificent to look at with marble, mosaic ceilings, pillars and fireplaces. Whatever you are interested in you will find here-- books, drawings, fashion, jewellery, textile, theatre, sculpture, ceramics, metalwork and countless more exhibits.
    The museum receives well over 2.5m visitors a year, and has over 100,000 pages on its website.

    It is absolutely impossible to see all the highlights in one visit, even if you spend a week there you will still want to come back.

    From South Kensington Tube Station there are underground tunnels taking you under Cromwell Road to this museum and the Natural History Museum as well as the Science Museum--avoid the traffic and rain.

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    Why did Ali Baba come to my mind?

    by solopes Updated Sep 25, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    London - United Kingdom

    I may be unfair, but I felt really uncomfortable in Victoria and Albert Museum.

    I felt that the display had too many pieces, somehow mixed, resembling more a receptor’s warehouse than the proud exhibition of respected pieces of art. It was a quick visit, but that was the stronghest sensation.

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    VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM

    by balhannah Written Sep 8, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Entrance to V&A Museum

    So much to see, so little time, especially for Museums, so once again, all I saw was the outside.
    This Museum is known as the "World's largest & greatest Museum of Art & Design"
    Imagine how much time you need here to view over 4.5 millions objects spread over 145 galleries! 5,000 years of art, from ancient times to the present day, from most cultures of the World.

    A big ask for a tourist with just a few days to see the sights in London!

    ADMISSION IS FREE
    Some exhibitions and events carry a separate charge.

    OPEN.....
    10.00 to 5.45PM DAILY
    10.00 to 10PM (selected galleries remain open after 6PM )
    Closing commences 10 minutes before time stated
    Closed 24, 25 and 26 December

    The tunnel entrance to the V&A is open from 10.00 - 5.40PM Saturday to Thursday.
    10 -10PM on Fridays

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    Victoria & Albert Museum

    by Dabs Updated Aug 13, 2012

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    Tippoo's Tiger
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    Last visit July 2012

    I love the Victoria and Albert Museum, more commonly known as the V&A, named for Queen Victoria and her consort Prince Albert. I've been here three times and still haven't gotten through the entire collections at this amazing museum. If you only have a couple of hours, pick up a map at the entrance and tried to get to the list of highlights printed on the map.

    The V&A Museum's focus is on the decorative arts, one of my favorite things to look at in museums. The museum is broken down into sections covering certain eras in British history as well as a collection of Asian arts and rooms full of silver, fashion, jewelry and ceramics.

    Although your list might be different, my "Don't miss" selections are:

    -The Chihuly chandelier in the main entrance
    -Fashion exhibit with all those fabulous clothes
    -Tippoo Tiger
    -Silver galleries
    -Jewelry galleries

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  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo

    The stylishly elegant Victoria & Albert Museum

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Apr 12, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Victoria & Albert Museum

    I sheepishly admit that in all these years - and literally dozens of trips to the museums in South Kensington - I had never set foot inside the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum before last December!

    Probably it's because it's hard to abandon your old favourites, and from the time that I was small, some of my happiest memories are of my Mum taking us on our annual summer outing to the Natural History Museum. My husband and kids also share my passion for the Natural History Museum, and in recent years, we have also started to explore the excellent Science Museum.

    And although I had always admired its external architecture (and, as it turns out, the inner courtyard is even more beautiful) somehow the V&A always got left out - maybe because the idea of a museum dedicated to art and design seemed more rarified.

    Our visit to the V&A was fleeting as we had limited time, and the principal reason for our visit was that we were famished and in search of a late lunch! Purely by happenstance, it was an inspired decision, as the V&A cafe is located in the Morris, Gamble and Poynter Rooms, which formed the first museum restaurant in the world and were intended as a showpiece of modern design, craftsmanship and manufacturing. The surroundings are sumptuous and the food good - possibly a tad on the expensive side for cafe fare, but when you consider the setting, it's well worth it. Certainly an excellent choice for an elegant but informal lunch.

    Sadly we only had time to briefly visit the jawdropping William and Judith Bollinger jewellery gallery, which was like stumbling into an Aladdin's cave. Everything about the collection - from the quality of the exhibits to the fitments and the lightning is perfect, and it would be possible to spend an hour in this gallery alone. When we were there, there were limited duration exhibitions on Diagilhev and the Ballet Russe, as well as Imperial Robes from the Forbidden City - the first of which I would have particularly have loved to have seen if we'd have had time - so check the website to see what's scheduled for the time of your visit

    A word of caution if you're travelling with children: my instinct was right in that the V&A's subject matter is more 'grown up' than that of other museums in the area, and smaller children could quickly get bored. I would suggest that this would only really appeal to children from late primary school age (say 8) upwards, unless there is a particular exhibition that particularly appeals, I would rather take smaller kiddywinks to one of the other museums.

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    Victoria and Albert Museum

    by kris-t Updated Mar 8, 2011

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    Victoria and Albert Museum
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    It's one of the world's greatest museums of art and design.

    The Victoria and Albert museum was set up in 1852 to display decorative art, applied art and design.

    Museum Opening Hours:

    10.00 to 17.45 daily
    10.00 to 22.00 Wednesdays and the last Friday of the month (selected galleries remain open after 18.00)

    free

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  • Britannia2's Profile Photo

    Victoria and Albert Museum

    by Britannia2 Updated Sep 20, 2010

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    Gardens at the V&A
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    This is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. Named after Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, it was founded in 1852, and has since grown to now cover 12.5 acres (51,000 m2)[2] and 145 galleries. Its collection spans 5,000 years of art, from ancient times to the present day, in virtually every medium, from the cultures of Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
    We only saw a minute part of this museum - you would need a full day to see it all. The displays are well presented and the museum easy to negotiate with easy to follow guide maps although we struggled to find the exit! The garden is wonderful and we had a full meal in the well appointed restaurant (try the beef and ale pie).
    Admission is free (apart from special exhibitions) and disabled access good.

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    A Museum Hard to Define

    by TexasDave Updated Jun 9, 2010

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    Officially defined as a museum of "fine and applied arts" to me it has more of the feel of a very rich person's attic- a mish-mosh of all kinds of things from all over the world. A few of the galleries look like the last scenes of the movie "National Treasure" where there seems to be an endless supply of artifacts and statues. They are casts of famous objects d' art from all over Europe. The idea was to provide young and poor students, who couldn't afford to travel to see the originals, with the opportunity to see and study them.
    One of the big draws is the Great Bed of Ware, made in 1590, and mentioned by Shakespeare in "Twelfth Night".
    Happily this museum, like several others in London, doesn't charge admission but is by donation only.

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