Refurbishment of the paintings galleries, 2003
The Edwin and Susan Davies Galleries
In 2003, the refurbished Paintings galleries were reopened.
Generously supported by Edwin and Susan Davies OBE, the Paintings galleries comprise five galleries, situated at the northern end of a sequence of rooms originally purpose-built to display paintings. Natural daylight from the north-facing skylights provides optimum viewing conditions for oil paintings.
Over 200 oil paintings, including works by Gainsborough, Constable and Turner, were cleaned and restored, enabling their quality and colours to be fully appreciated. The collections of John Sheepshanks, who laid the foundations for the original paintings collection at the V&A, and Constantine Ionides, who also donated his fine art collection, including works by Botticelli, Tintoretto, Rossetti, Degas and Delacroix, can also be seen in the galleries.
The display encourages the public to recapture something of the experience of the earliest visitors to the galleries, and to explore the relationship between the making of painting and drawings and their presentation.
This development was completed as part of FuturePlan
FuturePlan is transforming the V&A by revitalising visitor facilities and redisplaying the collections. Using the best architects and designers, we are bringing the V&A into the 21st century and restoring modern design and innovation to the heart of the museum.