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about Victoria and Albert Museum in london

about Victoria and Albert Museum in london

Victoria and Albert Museum
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History

The V&A has its origins in the Great Exhibition of 1851, with which Henry Cole, the museum’s first director, was involved in planning; initially it was known as the Museum of Manufactures,first opening in May 1852 at Marlborough House, but by September had been transferred to Somerset House. At this stage the collections covered both applied art and science.

 

Several of the exhibits from the Exhibition were purchased to form the nucleus of the collection.By February 1854 discussions were underway to transfer the museum to the current site and it was renamed as the South Kensington Museum. In 1855 the German architect Gottfried Semper, at the request of Cole, produced a design for the museum, but it was rejected by the Board of Trade as too expensive.

The site was occupied by Brompton Park House; this was extended including the first refreshment rooms opened in 1857, the museum being the first in the world to provide such a facility. The official opening by Queen Victoria was on 22 June 1857. In the following year, late night openings were introduced, made possible by the use of gas lighting. This was to enable in the words of Cole “to ascertain practically what hours are most convenient to the working classes”

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