The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.8 million objects, books and archives that span over 5,000 years of human creativity. The museum holds many of the UK's national collections and houses some of the greatest resources for the study of architecture, furniture, fashion, textiles, photography, sculpture, painting, jewellery, glass, ceramics, book arts, Asian art and design, theatre and performance.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, Monday – Sunday 10:00 – 17:00
The V&A Story
This history of the V&A is a story like no other. From its early beginnings as a Museum of Manufactures in 1852, to the foundation stone laid by Queen Victoria in 1899, to today's state-of-the-art galleries, the museum has constantly evolved in its collecting and public interpretation of art and design. Its collections span over 5,000 years of human creativity in virtually every medium, housed in one of the finest groups of Victorian and modern buildings in Britain.
Who we are
We are a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and a charity exempt from registration under the Charities Act of 2011. We are governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Prime Minister. The Director of the museum is Dr Tristram Hunt, who leads the Executive Board.
Find out about all the V&A Directors
Our mission is to be recognised as the world's leading museum of art, design and performance, and to enrich people's lives by promoting research, knowledge and enjoyment of the designed world to the widest possible audience. We strive to make the V&A matter to more people and in that context we work to the following six strategic objectives:
- To create a world class visitor and learning experience across all V&A sites and collections.
- Focus and deepen the relevance of our collections to the UK creative and knowledge economy.
- Expand the V&A's international reach, reputation and impact.
- To operate with financial and organisational initiative and efficiency.
- Showcase the best of digital design, and deliver an outstanding digital experience.
- Diversify and increase private and commercial funding sources.
We want the V&A to inspire people wherever they live. Explore some of the nationwide activity the museum undertakes with museums, local authorities, universities and schools, charities and community groups.
We are a global organisation, engaging with international contacts through cultural partnerships, trading, touring exhibitions, loans, advice and skills sharing. Our international work brings benefits to the museum and its visitors by enriching our knowledge and expertise - allowing us to make sense of our collections, attracting new audiences, and building our reputation and brand.
FuturePlan is an ambitious programme of development which is transforming the V&A. The best contemporary designers are creating exciting new galleries and visitor facilities, while revealing and restoring the beauty of the original building. In the past 15 years, over 85% of the museum’s public spaces have been transformed, improving access and allowing the collections to be more elegantly and intelligently displayed.
These are exciting times for the V&A – we're putting on hugely successful exhibitions and events, opening spectacular new galleries and facilities, working nationally and internationally, and making our collections more accessible than ever before. We need great people to help us sustain this success.
Reports, strategic plans and policies
In response to the Government's commitment to greater transparency of public information, we will be publishing reports and data relating to our strategic plan, funding agreements, annual review, collections policies, senior posts and salaries, and strategies for equality and diversity.