Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington is one of the most highly regarded and heavily trafficked museum in all of London. It is the largest museum in the world dedicated to decorative arts and design. The V & A Museum features a stunning collection of over 4.5 million objects. It was originally founded in 1852 when it opened at the Marlborough House. It later moved to the Somerset House that September. The date of the official opening by Queen Victoria was June 22, 1857. An interesting note is that the last public appearance of Queen Victoria was at a ceremony at the museum. Today the Victoria and Albert Museum exhibitions draw millions of people each and every year, making it not only one of the most popular museums, but also one of the most popular tourist attractions in London.
There are 145 individual galleries within the Victoria and Albert Museum with collections that span over 5,000 years of art in a comprehensive variety of mediums. From ceramics and jewelry to medieval artifacts, sculptures and prints to photographs and textiles, the collection is an encyclopedic walk through the history of mankind and the accomplishments of man’s applied skills. The V & A Museum features collections from all over the world. From the extensive East Asian and Islamic collections to the vast European and North American displays, the Victoria and Albert Museum exhibitions are filled with examples of the best and most interesting artifacts collected throughout history. It is right by the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum making this area in general a popular destination for museum-goers and lovers of art and culture.
Victoria and Albert Museum exhibitions include interesting journeys such as the exploration of Theatre and Performance through the photography of Simon Annand, who photographed the most celebrated performers of the West End Theatre for over twenty years. The Royal Academy of Arts showcases impressive exhibits and runway shows by their graduates and puts on display some amazing shows featuring the future of high fashion in London. There are engaging exhibits on British fairy tale illustrations, design and ornamentation in Renaissance bindings, opulent French porcelain objects, and admission is free every day. The Victoria and Albert Museum opens at 10 a.m. daily and closes at 5:45 p.m. Fridays the V & A Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
If you are planning a trip to London and want to make a day of it at the V & A, you will find all of the services and accommodations that you need for an ideal museum exploration. There are two cafes that serve a wide variety of food from hot dishes and soups, to sandwiches and munchies. Beer and wine are also served in the cafes at the museum. If you have an opportunity to stay at a hotel nearby and also explore the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum, it will make for an exciting couple of days. You can then continue on to see other parts of the city. Just minutes away are Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Palace, and many more of the most popular London attractions.