Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Victoria and Albert Museum

Victoria and Albert Museum

Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is one of the world’s largest museums of decorative arts and design. Founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the V&A is located near the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Royal Albert Hall in London,

Highlights of the Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

  • Name:                The Victoria and Albert Museum
  • City:                    London
  • Country:             United Kingdom
  • Established:        1852
  • Type:                   Decorative arts and design
  • Collection Size:   2,278,183 items in 145 galleries
  • Locations:           Cromwell Road, London, United Kingdom

A Tour of The Victoria and Albert Museum

  • “The Three Graces” by Antonio Canova
    • “The Three Graces” by Antonio Canova is a Neoclassical statue of the three mythological charities who were daughters of Zeus (the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religion, who ruled as king of the gods of Mount Olympus). This version was initially made for the Sculpture Gallery at Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire, and was initially housed in a specially designed Temple of the Graces. The three sisters are identified as Euphrosyne, Aglaea, and Thalia, from left to right. They represent youth/beauty (Thalia), mirth (Euphrosyne), elegance (Aglaea). The Graces presided over banquets and gatherings, to delight the guests of the gods. The Three Graces have inspired many artists and have served as subjects for many artists.
  • The Great Bed of Ware
    • The Great Bed of Ware is a huge oak four-poster bed, carved with marquetry, that was initially housed in the White Hart Inn in Ware, England. Constructed in 1580, it was probably made to attract customers for an inn in Ware, Hertfordshire. It is twice the size of a modern double bed. Ware was a day’s journey from London and a convenient place to stop for the night for travelers. The bed was publicized as having the capacity to sleep, 12 people. Many of those who have used the bed have carved their names into its posts or applied red wax seals. Twenty instances of graffiti are still visible on the bedposts and headboard today. The Great Bed has been referenced many times in literature from William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (circa 1601) to Charles Dickens’ The Holly Tree.
  • Self-Portrait as a Young Man
    • “Self-Portrait as a Young Man” by Tintoretto is an early and forceful self-portrait, created with the aid of a mirror. Portraits of artists became popular with collectors during the Renaissance. Tintoretto was known as a recluse who preferred his own company, who rarely smiled.
  • “St Paul Preaching in Athens” by Raphael
    • “St. Paul Preaching in Athens” by Raphael depicts the Apostle Paul in Athens, delivering at the Areopagus, and recounted in Acts of the Apostles in the Bible. The Areopagus sermon is the most dramatic and fullest reported speech of the missionary career of Saint Paul. Paul had encountered conflict as a result of his preaching in Thessalonica. He was taken to Athens as a place of safety. While he was waiting for his companions to arrive, Paul was distressed to see Athens full of idols. So Paul went to the synagogue and the Agora on several occasions to preach about the Resurrection of Jesus.

Explore London’s Museums and Heritage Sites


“Great events make me quiet and calm;
it is only trifles that irritate my nerves.”

– Queen Victoria


Photo Credit: By Aqwis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons