The V&A (the Victoria and Albert) museum is the world's leading museum dedicated to art, design and performance. It houses over 2 million objects that span over 5000 years of human history.
Access the V&A Museum
- Pay nothing at the door, simply show your pass.
- View over 2 million art and design artefacts, showcasing thousands of years of human creativity and ingenuity.
- The pass grants you access to any current exhibitions, tours, and lectures included with general museum admission.
Attractions where public entry is free, have added benefits for London Pass holders. Enjoy access to paid exhibitions without further payment. When no paid exhibitions are on, show your pass to receive a free guidebook.
The V & A Museum history
The V & A Museum officially opened on 20th June 1857, presided by namesake Queen Victoria. Initially conceived as a practical collection, instead of 'art' that was reserved for the likes of the National Gallery, it was the museum's first 'Keeper of Fine Art' George Wallis who believed the collection could serve a wider purpose.
Queen Victoria would later lay the iconic Foundation Stone in 1899. It was the last official public appearance she made before her death in 1901. The Aston Webb building, where the Foundation Stone lies, was opened by King Edward VII in 1909. The Science Museum was later built to house some of the technology held in the V & A. After the beginning of the Second World War, much of the museum's collection was sent to more protected areas outside Central London, due to the blitz.
In the 1970s, the V & A became the first museum to host a rock concert, when British band Gryphon played.
Today, the Museum holds some of the UK's greatest collections of architecture, fashion, sculpture, painting, and ceramics, among many others.
The V & A Museum highlights
- Explore a wealth of art and design artefacts from 5000 years of human.
- Over 2 million artefacts from cultures and artists around the world, including clothing, pottery, sculpture, painting, and the technology used to create these throughout the ages.
- Discover cultural exhibitions and exclusive showcases on a variety of different subjects and themes.
The V & A Museum facts
When it was established in 1857 the Museum was called the South Kensington Museum. It was renamed the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1899 when Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone of new buildings along Exhibition Road and Cromwell Road.
The South Kensington Museum was the first museum in the world to provide a public restaurant.
Queen Victoria really wanted to call the V&A the 'Albert Museum'
A new underground station was opened very close to the Museum in 1904 called Brompton Road. It was judged to be uneconomical and was closed in 1934.
The inscription over the main entrance of the Museum reads 'The excellence of every art must consist in the complete accomplishment of its purpose', and is a quotation from the artist Sir Joshua Reynolds.
Bags: Inside Out (until 31 Jan 2021)
From rucksacks to despatch boxes, Birkin bags to Louis Vuitton luggage, Bags: Inside Out explores the style, function, design, and craftsmanship of the ultimate accessory.
For full details about the paid exhibitions at the V&A, please click here.
If there is no paid exhibition, pass customers are entitled to a souvenir guidebook without further payment.