Friday, August 29, 2014

Arts and Crafts at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London

Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone for the
facade of the South Kensington Museum in 1899
when it was renamed the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Courtyard, perhaps the original 1857 facade.
The Museum's website gives its history:

"The Museum was established in 1852, following the enormous success of the Great Exhibition the previous year. Its founding principle was to make works of art available to all, to educate working people and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. Profits from the Exhibition were used to establish the Museum of Manufactures, as it was initially known, and exhibits were purchased to form the basis of its collections. The Museum moved to its present site in 1857 and was renamed the South Kensington Museum."

We found a hotel within a few blocks of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, so we could visit often. My first question at the door was where to see Arts & Crafts items. They have a room in the British Galleries devoted to the style.

Here is one of my favorites: a silk collar designed and stitched by 
Jessie Newbery of Glasgow

Most of the museums we went to
permit you to take photos without flash,
which is a great way to make notes.

On display were samples by various British designers
of the aesthetic movement, including C. F. A. Voysey with
a piece of his owl fabric.

I took this fuzzy picture of an inlaid Liberty chair
with its 13 square spindles because I
recently found a pair of chairs with 12 square
spindles at an estate sale. I'm still trying to
identify my chairs. I certainly identified the inspiration.

Embroidered table runner by Frances Mary Templeton, 
1909, perhaps stitched in a Glasgow class taught by Ann Macbeth.

A few more fuzzy pictures....
I  took these as reminders to look up a much better
photo in their online catalog.

The museum's image.

A panel from a Manxman piano designed by Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott. 


Woven silk, Kingfisher by Bruce Talbert

William Morris's handwritten recipe

Roseanne and the girls (we traveled with two recent college graduates)
 spent time in the natural history museum
down the street. It's filled with impressive bas-relief
animal sculpture.

We also liked this bench for visitor seating at the V & A.

This museum has an excellent on-line catalog with  414,228 images. Browse it here:

The catalog is a great design resource, but it will only make you long to see the objects in real life.


  1. my daughter and I discovered the V&A museum on our last day in London - if I ever get back, it will be my first stop. That voysay print could be reprinted and sold today - reminds me of the fabrics that tyla pink is putting out

  2. What a wonderful place to visit, looks like you had a wonderful time.


  3. Thank you for all the photos, but especially the Jessie Newbery collar! Kathe