• The Victoria and Albert Museum – known as the V&A – is the world’s greatest museum of art and design.
• The V&A holds many of Britain’s national art and design collections. These include: art photographs, fashion, furniture and woodwork, glass, jewellery, computer generated art and design, British watercolours and drawings, ceramics, metalwork, portrait miniatures, and sculpture made up to 1914. The V&A also houses the National Art Library.
• The V&A comprises the V&A in South Kensington, the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green and the V&A archive based at Blythe House in Olympia.
• The V&A annually receives over 2.5 million visitors to the South Kensington site.
• The V&A’s buildings occupy 12 acres of land in South Kensington, and are over a third of a mile in circumference.
• There are 145 galleries within the South Kensington Museum
• The V&A was established in 1852 to make works of art available to all and to inspire British designers and manufacturers.
• The V&A gained its current name in 1899 when Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone of a new wing and renamed the Museum in memory of her husband, Prince Albert.
• The earliest parts of the V&A buildings date back to 1857, with additions throughout the 19th century.
• Since 2001 the V&A has been going through a comprehensive programme of restoration and redesign.
• Martin Roth, previously Director General of the Dresden State Art Collections, became Director of the V&A on 1 September 2011.
• The V&A’s Deputy Director is Beth McKillop.
• The Museum is governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Prime Minister. The current chair is Paul Ruddock.
• There are 501 full time staff and 170 part time staff based at the V&A, South Kensington.
• There are over 2.1 million objects in the V&A’s collections.
• The V&A collections are unrivalled in their scope and diversity.
• They span over 2000 years of human creativity, in virtually every medium. They are drawn from across Europe, the Middle East, India, China, Japan and many other parts of the world.
• The National Art Library has more than 950,000 books dedicated to the study of fine and decorative arts.
• Visitors can search over a million objects from the V&A's collections on the Search the Collections online database at http://collections.vam.ac.uk
V&A TOURING EXHIBITIONS
• The V&A began touring its exhibitions internationally in 1992 and now has the largest touring programme of any museum in the world.
• In 2010, 20 V&A exhibitions travelled to 43 venues in 14 countries worldwide including India, the USA, the Middle East and for the first time, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and Estonia.
• The V&A was the first International Museum to send a major exhibition to Damascus, Syria (2008).
• The Jameel Prize 2009 exhibition was the first V&A exhibition to visit venues in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, the UAE and Morocco (2010).
• In addition to touring exhibitions, the V&A is one of the biggest lenders of objects to venues around the world. In 2010, V&A loans went to more than 250 locations in the UK and more than 350 worldwide.
V&A at Dundee
• The V&A is currently working in partnership with the University of Dundee, the University of Abertay Dundee, Dundee City Council and Scottish Enterprise to create ‘V&A at Dundee’.
• V&A at Dundee will be Scotland's leading centre for design in a stunning new building on Dundee's waterfront which will provide a venue for the V&A's major international touring exhibitions.
• In 2010 Japanese architectural practice, Kengo Kuma & Associates won the international architecture competition to design a landmark building for V&A at Dundee on the banks of the River Tay.
• Work is projected to start on the site in 2012 and be complete in 2014
• The V&A received over 3 million visitors to its sites in 2010.
• The most popular exhibition the V&A has ever held was Art Deco in 2003, which received 359,499 visitors.
• In 2010, the V&A’s travelling exhibitions were seen by 1.4 million people around the world.
• Around 30% of the V&A’s visitors are practitioners or students of art and design and around 40% are from overseas.
• The V&A website receives around 25 million annual visits.