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Creating the V&A
Creating the V&A

Creating the V&A

Victoria And Albert's Museum (1851–1861)

V&A 19th-Century Series


176 Pages, 9 x 10.75

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $69.99 (US $69.99) (CA $93.99)

Publication Date: June 2019

ISBN 9781848223493

Rights: US, CA & CN

Lund Humphries (Jun 2019)

Price: $69.99


Creating the V&A tells the definitive story of the formative years of London's world renowned Victoria and Albert Museum and the gathering of its early collections in the decade between the Great Exhibition of 1851 and the death of Prince Albert in 1861. The story of the V&A's genesis is often centered on the first director and first curator (Henry Cole and J. C. Robinson), and their competing agendas for design reform and connoisseurship. And yet there is an untold story of how the young royal couple for whom it is named were highly instrumental in the establishment of the museum, as public supporters and large-scale lenders before a permanent collection was in place. The book is also full of fascinating and colorful stories of the strategies deployed to harvest treasures on the market as the young museum sought to fill its rapidly expanding buildings and compete with the British Museum and the Crystal Palace. For anyone interested in the history of collecting and curating, and for all fans of this legendary London museum, Creating the V&A explains how the foundational collections established parameters which still inform the museum's collecting policies, role, and identity today.

Author Biography

Julius Bryant is Keeper of Word and Image at the Victoria and Albert Museum and author of Designing the V&A: The Museum as a Work of Art (1857–1909) (Lund Humphries, 2017).