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Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) was founded following the Great Exhibition of 1851 as the Museum of Manufactures, which opened in May 1852 at Marlborough House, before being moved to Somerset House in September. In 1854 it was renamed The South Kensington Museum. The museum moved to Brompton Park House and was opened by Queen Victoria on 22 June 1857. Between the 1860s and 1880s the scientific collections were moved to other buildings on Exhibition Road, leaving the V&A as an institution of decorative arts, with the Science Museum becoming a separate institution on the appointment of its first director in 1893.

On 17 May 1899, the foundation stone for a new building, the Aston Webb Building, was laid by Queen Victoria. During this ceremony it was announced that the name of the museum would be changed to the Victoria and Albert Museum. The new building was officially opened on 26 June 1909 by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. More information on the objects listed on our website.
This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be some errors.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk