Victoria and Albert Museum

The world’s greatest museum of art and design

Opening times

10.00 to 17.45 daily
10.00 to 22.00 Fridays

J Robert Oppenheimer

J Robert Oppenheimer

"Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."
Oppenheimer is the father of atomic bombs; his "fat man" destroyed Nagasaki in 1945, which both vindicated his scientific theories and horrified him abjectly. He was a man able to marshal ideas, to stand at the crossroads of the arts and sciences, melding the poetry of the modernists with the preachings of Marx and Engels, coming face to face with Joe McCarthy and later, the bemused student body of Princeton. As one would later say, "You were not quite sure what he meant, but you were sure it was profound". He became a symbol of morality in science. And he wore wool suits.