We are delighted to share that The Duchess of Cambridge has become the first Royal Patron of the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Egerton House Hotel is proud to be a Hotel Member of the V&A, an internationally renowned museum located just a few minutes’ walk from the hotel.
The V&A is a natural choice considering Her Royal Highness’s personal interest in photography, design and the visual arts. The Duchess of Cambridge’s patronage marks an exciting new chapter in the institution's history.
While the Duchess of Cambridge will be the museum’s first Royal Patron, the organisation has had a royal connection since its establishment in 1852. Initially called the “Museum of Manufactures” when it first opened, the museum was inspired by the success of the Great Exhibition in 1851 and was originally located at Marlborough House and then Somerset House before moving to its current Brompton Road site in 1857, where it was renamed the “South Kensington Museum”. The first museum to have its own café, the venue was opened by Queen Victoria in June 1857 and its mission to make artwork accessible to all was apparent from the offset. Its late-night openings—which were launched in 1888 and continue today—were created so that working people still had the opportunity to visit and admire the collection.
The museum was the site of Queen Victoria’s last official public appearance, when in tribute to the late Prince Albert, she laid the foundation stone for a new wing of the museum that provided the building with its distinctive façade and entrance. From that moment, it was known as the “Victoria & Albert Museum”, and continued to flourish as a hub of creativity in its many forms, from textiles and jewellery to ceramics, furniture, paintings and photographs. Today, it holds the title of the largest museum of design and decorative arts in the world, with a permanent collection that exceeds 4.5 million artefacts. Occupying 12.5 acres and seven floors, which house 145 galleries, the museum offers a packed schedule of educational courses, engaging talks and workshops as well as its permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.
The Duchess of Cambridge had previously shown support for the museum in 2017, when she attended the unveiling of the Exhibition Road Quarter development project. The project merges the beauty of the original Victorian building with cutting edge contemporary design with the addition of new entrance, temporary exhibition gallery and courtyard. The courtyard, inspired by the museum’s extensive collection of ceramics, is the first ever porcelain tiled courtyard in Britain, whilst the new Sainsbury Gallery is one of the country’s largest temporary exhibition spaces at 1,100 square metres. Furthermore, the courtyard is accessed via the Aston Webb stone screen, a significant feature of the original 19th century building that has been painstakingly restored. Explore the dynamic new spaces for yourself when you visit the major ‘Fashioned From Nature’ exhibition, which runs until 27 January 2019.
Explore the V&A’s incredible collection when you stay at The Egerton House Hotel, located 400 yards away from the museum.