The V&A is one of my favourite London museums. When I’m in the area I always pop in, visiting the fashion collection and then wandering up to the top floors. If you hit the right time – late afternoon on a weekday – you can pretty much guarantee to come across maybe only two other people and it feels like you have the whole place to yourself.
The world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design with a permanent collection encompassing over 2.27 million objects it was founded in 1852 and quite obviously named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. It owed much of its creation in fact to Prince Albert – he was the creator and most vocal champion of the Great Exhibition of 1851 and urged that the profits from that be used to create a district of museums, the V&A being the first to be founded in 1852, moving to its current location in 1857, though it was then known as South Kensington Memorial.
Unusually for me I went straight to the V&A after visiting the Natural History Museum and so had time to photograph the side of the building and the Exhibition Road entrance but by the time I left (the V&A has late evening openings on Fridays) the light wasn’t good enough for me to take photos of the entrance on Cromwell Road so I’ll have to go back and do that at a later time.
In a change from my normal routine at the V&A I went through the Exhibition Road Quarter entrance. This takes you through the arches of the 19th century screen designed by Aston Webb and into the Sackler Courtyard.
The exterior of the museum is also adorned with sculptures executed by a range of sculptors which depict famous painters, designers etc. along the Exhibition Road Quarter.
Well worth exploring the exterior as well as the interior, you can find more photos here.