Print of the Month

Promotional image for Print of the Month
  • What:
    Displays
  • When:
  • 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
1843

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

Past Event

Tickets are no longer available for this event