A grand design reveals the way in which a
great museum came into being and has grown over almost one hundred and fifty
years. It is a fascinating story, full of extraordinary characters, great works
of art, many triumphs, and some disasters. No institution stands still, and
the history of the Victoria and Albert Museum reflects the ways in which society,
taste, perception, and scholarship have changed over the years.
This microsite has been adapted from the book
'A Grand Design - The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum' which was published
to support the exhibition of the same name. To reflect the structure of the
book the site is divided into essays, listed in the navigation to the left of
the screen. Each essay contains the relevant illustrations and is followed by
the images of objects and their catalogue entries from the book. Footnotes follow
at the end of each essay. Authors of essays and catalogue entries are
credited with each piece.