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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. Named after Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, it was founded in 1852, and has since grown to now cover some 12.5 acres and 145 galleries.

Its collection spans 5000 years of art, from ancient times to the present day, in virtually every medium, from the cultures of Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.





The holdings of ceramics, glass, textiles, costumes, silver, ironwork, jewellery, furniture, medieval objects, sculpture, prints and printmaking, drawings and photographs are among the largest and most comprehensive in the world.The museum possesses the world's largest collection of post-classical sculpture, the holdings of Italian Renaissance items are the largest outside Italy.









White nude - Thomas Brock

Brock exhibited a plaster version of this life size nude at the Royal Academy in 1898. He completed the marble two years later and subsequently made a number of small bronze replicas. Eve seems self-absorbed with her head bowed as if in shame, and her left arm placed protectively across her breast.



Lot's Wife - Hamo Thornycroft

The biblical story of Lot's wife tells how she was turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back at the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Thornycroft has depicted the moment of metamorphosis. He later said that the idea for the statue came from seeing a huge straight boulder standing alone and weird on a sea-shore early one morning.



The departments of Asia include art from South Asia, China, Japan, Korea and the Islamic world. The East Asian collections are among the best in Europe, with particular strengths in ceramics and metalwork, while the Islamic collection, alongside the Musée du Louvre and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, is amongst the largest in the world.









This spoon provides a rare glimpse of the splendour of the artefacts being produced in the royal Mughal workshops towards the end of Akbar's reign or early into the reign of his son.



Bhairava - Nepal 17th century
Repousee copper with gliding and paint, set with turquoise, rock-crystal ad semi-precious stones



Royal belt and pendant brooch
Thailand - Late 1890s
The queen of Thailand - Queen Saowabha Pongsri wore this belt anf pendant on State occasions



Admission to the Victoria and Albert Museum is free.

Address:
Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW7 2RL
+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Museum Opening Hours
10.00 to 17.45 daily
10.00 to 22.00 Fridays (selected galleries remain open after 18.00. ).
Closed 24, 25 and 26 December

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