We visited an other known museum in South Kensington. This time it was the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A Museum) on the Exhibition Road and Cromwell Road.
The museum was founded in 1852 as the South Kensington Museum led by the British Ministry of Science and Art. Over the years, the collection has been expanded considerably with both art and objects. In 1899 the museum was renamed The Victoria and Albert Museum in honor of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
The building is a reflection of 150 years of construction history. It is a mix of various styles. What began with the Victorian style and Edwardian style ended until now with a renovation and construction in the 20th century. In 1966 an extension was planned, a design called ‘The Spiral’, of designer Daniel Libeskind. Eventually this would have been too contrasted with the current building so the project discontinued in 2004.
As you walk through the Exhibition Road, and passed the columns, you will enter a large light square, surrounded by buildings in the middle of the city. That’s also the idea of the architect AL A (formerly Amanda Levete Architects), who relaunched the project in 2011 to create more exhibition space. It eventually became a piazza with 11,000 handmade tiles with underlying 1000m2 extra exhibition space.
In the square you will find the entrance of the museum and a modern pavilion where you can sit inside or outside for a snack or drink.
Lara and I decided to discover the museum and chose to see a part. It would be too much to see everything in one day. Then you definitely will ask a lot of a two year old child. But she was looking forward. Mom followed her little one through the hallway, stairs and beautiful exhibition halls.
The museum is one of the biggest in Art & Design and had a fixed collection of over 2.3 million objects. The museum also manages a number of national collections. A large collection of applied art such as: architecture, furniture, fashion, textiles, photography, sculpture, painting, jewellery, glass, ceramics, book arts, Asian art & design, theatre and performance.
The museum also supports educational programs for students and offers access to collections for research purposes.
What a beautiful museum. We looked out of our eyes. Especially the theatre and performance department where amazing costumes and models of decors can be seen, did great by Lara.
But not even the little one liked it a lot, also her mommy did. I always have had a big interest in costumes and decor.
You can also find work of set designer Es Devlin. She designes many decors for opera, dance, film, theatre, fashion shows and concerts. Her decors are a mix of sculpture, light and film. I’m a big fan of her work. The V&A Museum presented the entire process for the set design of the opera ‘Carmen‘ from the beginning till end. Exhibited by a scale model, film and work table with sketches and maquettes.
The museum manages both Historical and modern Art. These gradually overflow, everything is perfectly in balance. Great how Lara responded to everything, she was so clearly appointing what se saw.
Like any visit to a museum, we closed down at the restaurant. But wow, we had not been to such a beautiful museum restaurant as before at the V&A Museum. High ceilings, old ornaments, ornate tiles, stained glass and huge crystal balls in the air. It fits well in this whole museum, where every room is beautiful decorated and radiates so much history.
This museum is already one of my favorites. We will definitely come back at this museum. Are you curious and want more information about the museum, opening hours and current exhibitions? Please visit the website of the V&A Museum.