The world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, the Victoria and Albert Museum is located in London’s Brompton district. It is named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and boasts a rich history, having been founded in 1852 and now housing more than two million objects.
The collection dates back to ancient times and includes objects from Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa. Sculptures, glassworks, textiles and costumes are all exhibited, together with jewelry, furniture and photography. There’s an outstanding collection of Italian Renaissance works and East Asian ceramics and metalwork while the Islamic collection is one of the largest in the Western world. Due to the staggering number of objects that comprise the Victoria and Albert Museum’s collection, only a small fraction is displayed at any one time.
Discover the history of British architecture through models, photographs and original drawings, then wander through the European period rooms. Admire the extensive collection of Chinese artworks and those from the Himalayan Kingdoms, then witness the famous Ardabil Carpet that forms the centerpiece of the Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art.
Iznik pottery, 14th-century mosque lamps and Persian rugs are also on display, together with numerous Qu’rans from different periods that exhibit exquisite calligraphy. Also of note is the Jawaharlal Nehru gallery of Indian art that includes pieces dating back to 500 BC from the Mughal Empire and the Marathas while the Toshiba gallery of Japanese art includes classic Japanese armor, lacquerware and woodblock prints.
In addition to its exhibits, the Victoria and Albert Museum also houses the National Art Library, which is one of the largest of its kind in the world dedicated to the study of fine and decorative arts.