Print of the Month
- Where:Prints & Drawings Study Room Lobby
DISPLAY: See highlight pieces from the V&A's outstanding Prints and Drawings collections, chosen by curators and showcased each month. Accessible during Prints and Drawings Study Room opening hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10.00-17.00 (closed Saturday 28 May).
Print of the Month, 1 December - 5 January
John Callcott Horsley 1817–1903
The first Christmas card
Henry Cole, the first director of the South Kensington Museum (later the V&A), commissioned the design of a card to send to his friends at Christmas instead of the customary letter. Horsley’s illustration for what is now recognised to be the first Christmas card depicts a Victorian family toasting the card’s recipient, amid scenes of Christian charity. However the design was criticised for encouraging drinking and Cole’s plan to market the first Christmas card was not a commercial success.
Lithograph printed by Jobbins and hand-coloured by William Mason
Museum no. MSL.3293-1987