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14-Jun-2019 07:29

Opened in 1852 as the Museum of Ornamental Art, it settled in its current site in 1857.

In 1899, a new building designed by Sir Aston Webb, and opened by King Edward VII in 1909, was founded on the same site and was renamed the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Since then, under the direction of figures like Sir Roy Strong and Elizabeth Esteve-Coll, the V&A has launched a number of quite different, occasionally experimental, cultural campaigns, designed to raise awareness of its holdings of fine art and applied art. Includes more than 600,000 drawings, 750,000 papers and 700,000 photographs.

The full name of the V&A is now: The Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Museum of Art and Design. British architects whose work appears in the collection, include: Sir Christopher Wren, Nicholas Hawksmoor, Sir John Vanbrugh, William Kent, Inigo Jones, James Gibbs, Robert Adam, Sir William Chambers, James Wyatt, Henry Holland, John Nash, Sir John Soane, Sir Charles Barry, Charles Robert Cockerell, George Edmund Street, Richard Norman Shaw, Alfred Waterhouse, Sir Edwin Lutyens, Charles Rennie Mac Kintosh, Richard Rogers, and Norman Foster, among others. Islam The V&A's collection of Islamic art includes such highlights as: the Ardabil Carpet, a 10th century Rock crystal ewer, numerous Qur'ans incorporating exquisite calligraphy, Iznik pottery, 14th century glasswork, an extensive collection of Middle Eastern and Persian rugs and carpets, and intricate mosaic art from Constantinople (Istanbul) and Samarkand.

Highlights of the V&A collection include the world's largest holding of post-classical sculpture, the best collection of East Asian artworks in Europe, and a collection of Islamic art which ranks alongside that of the Louvre (Paris) and Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) as the largest in the world.Featured artists and designers include: Grinling Gibbons, Sir James Thornhill, William Kent, Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam, Josiah Wedgwood, Matthew Boulton, Eleanor Coade, John Constable, Thomas Chippendale, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, William Morris, William Burges, Charles Robert Ashbee, Christopher Dresser, James Mc Neill Whistler and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.Furniture and Furnishings The V&A furniture and furnishings collection contains more than 14,000 items from across Europe, including, complete rooms, musical instruments (notably a 1699 violin by Antonio Stradivari), and clocks, as well as furniture dating from the Middle Ages to the present - although most of the furniture is British and dates to between 17.The institution's science collections were then transferred to the nearby Science Museum.

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On the outbreak of World War II, much of the collection was moved to an underground site near Aldwych tube station in central London.The museum also contains the national collections of British Miniatures, watercolour paintings and work by English silversmiths, as well as the largest assembly of pictures by John Constable.