V&A Tours

V&A TOURS

Considered by many to be the world’s finest collection of decorative art, The Victoria & Albert Museum features everything from C10th Egyptian crystal glass to the original artwork of the Rolling Stones logo from the 1970s. The collection covers 3,000 years of art, design, fashion, furniture, glass, jewellery, photography, sculpture and textiles. What’s more, it’s also home to the fabulous restaurant where you can enjoy a meal or afternoon tea and scones whilst admiring the original Victorian decoration. 

chandeliers at VandAINTRODUCING THE V&A TOUR

This introductory tour begins by explaining how the V&A was founded after the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park in 1851. We’ll discover how diversified the V&A collection is in its geography, medium, technique and craftsmen. In light of the constant rejuvenation of the displays, we’ll explore how the gallery is refreshed, curated and designed for a C21st museum visitor. Finally we’ll visit the historic cast courts, Islamic and Mughal art, architecture and contemporary work such as the famous glass chandelier by American artist Dale Chihuly.

EUROPE 1600 – 1815 

We will see European art and design made in Europe by its finest artists and craftsmen for discerning leaders of taste such as Louis XIV, Mme de Pompadour, Marie-Antoinette, Catherine the Great and Napoleon: other objects were made in Asia or the Americas for the Europeans.

vase-savoy Scandinavian design20TH CENTURY SCANDINAVIAN DESIGN

Scandinavian design has long been described as the most important design movement since WWII. We will look at 20th century Scandinavian design icons such as Alvar Aalto’s Savoy vase, Stig Lindberg ceramics, the Verner Panton chair, Poul Henningsen’s Artichoke Lamp and Arne Jacobsen’s ‘Series 7′ chair made famous by Christine Keeler.

oriental art V&ATHE EXQUISITE LINES OF ORIENTAL ART

Towards the end of the C19th, when Japan emerged from a 200-year-long slumber, everyone – especially the Victorian artists – were transfixed by what they saw. Our new tour explores the treasures of Oriental art and design; exquisitely dyed and embroidered silk kimonos; the charming and intricate work found on netsuke and inro; and the Mazarin Chest, the V&A’s most important lacquer treasure, made with incredible technique and skill.

persian carpet tourA WALK THROUGH THE WORLD’S FINEST CARPETS

Many of the world’s most famous carpets can be found in the V&A’s incredible collection. Our new tour looks at Indian, Persian and Ottoman carpets, studying the production and comparing the designs of these beautiful examples. We explain how techniques travelled from the Middle East via Moorish Spain to Europe, and we also reveal why the Ardabil is the most famous carpet in the world.

Decorative arts tour londonDECORATIVE ARTS FROM HENRY VIII TO QUEEN VICTORIA

Our tour of the famous British Galleries follows the story of how the Kings and Queens of Britain initially emulated the decorative arts of rival countries such as France and Italy, and how our technique for producing decorative objects became the most advanced in the world during the Victorian era. We’ll see how fashion and tastes changed dramatically over the 400 years leading up to the time of Queen Victoria, the story culminating in a ‘visit’ to the Great Exhibition of 1851.

medieval renaissance treasure tourMEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE TREASURES

Exploring the highlights of the Medieval & Renaissance Galleries, our tour encompasses masterpieces from 300AD to 1600. These include the famous Becket Casket made in Limoges in the C12th, exquisite C15th hunting tapestries, a wax model made by Michelangelo illustrating his creative process, rare C16th Medici porcelain, and the da Vinci notebook showing his fascinating working methods.

Iznik VaseTHE ELEGANCE OF ISLAMIC DECORATIVE ART

Focusing on similarities of ornament used by the different Muslim dynasties, our tour of the Jameel Gallery looks at court art such as a fabulous 1000-year-old rock crystal ewer and elegant C16th Iznik ceramics. We’ll explore both religious and secular Islamic art and different examples of figurative approaches. The tour culminates in the British Galleries, where we consider the influence of Islamic art on William Morris and the V&A itself.

Mughal jewels london guided tour V&A artTHE SPLENDOUR OF THE MUGHALS

The Nehru Gallery houses a collection of Indian art which is unrivalled outside of India. Our tour will provide a taste of the brilliance of the Mughal court, looking at spectacular gem encrusted jewels and elegant jade objects, as well as finely carved architectural details, costumes and carpets.