Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Photograph -  South Kensington Museum, view of wooden exterior of Educational Museum
  • South Kensington Museum, view of wooden exterior of Educational Museum
    Cowper, Isabel Agnes, born 1826 - died 1911
  • Enlarge image

South Kensington Museum, view of wooden exterior of Educational Museum

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    South Kensington Museum (photographed)

  • Date:

    ca. 1868 (photographed)
    19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cowper, Isabel Agnes, born 1826 - died 1911 (photographer)
    Department of Science and Art of the Committee of Council on Education (commissioned by)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Albumen print

  • Museum number:

    67539

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 601, box E

Photographs and photographers were present from the very beginning of the V&A's history and the Museum has an extensive collection of images from the 1850s through to the present which documents the construction and development of the V&A and the South Kensington site.

Originally collected by the National Art Library as part of a programme to record works of art, architecture and design in the interest of public education, these topographic and architectural views were valued as records and as source material for students of architecture and design. As well as being crucial records of the history of the V&A, and an important element within the National Art Library's visual encyclopaedia, these photographs are also significant artefacts in the history of the art of photography.

Isabel Cowper was the sister of the South Kensington Museum's first official photographer, Charles Thurston Thompson (1816-1868) and of the Superintendent of the Museum, Richard A. Thompson. Little is known about Cowper, but in her letter of resignation in 1891, she refers to herself as the Museum's 'Official Photographer', having taken up the position after the death of her brother. As such, she is an important part of the early history of V&A and a seminal figure behind the Museum’s early uptake of photography to document the arts.

Physical description

A mounted photograph of the facade of a wood-clad building with an attached brick building. A path lies adjacent to the building.

Place of Origin

South Kensington Museum (photographed)

Date

ca. 1868 (photographed)
19th century (made)

Artist/maker

Cowper, Isabel Agnes, born 1826 - died 1911 (photographer)
Department of Science and Art of the Committee of Council on Education (commissioned by)

Materials and Techniques

Albumen print

Marks and inscriptions

'VIEW OF EXTERIOR OF EDUCATIONAL MUSEUM / ENGLAND & WALES/ IIAA / London: South Kensington. Victoria & Albert Museum / View of exterior of Educational Museum'
printed, ink, pencil on mount

'A.b. LONDON'
department classification label, upper right mount

library stamp
blindstamp, upper centre mount

Dimensions

Height: 15.5 cm image, Width: 12.7 cm image, Height: 33.2 cm mount, Width: 23.5 cm mount

Descriptive line

Photograph by Isabel Cowper, South Kensington Museum, view of wooden exterior of Educational Museum, albumen print, ca. 1868

Materials

Photographic paper

Techniques

Albumen process

Subjects depicted

Museums

Categories

Photographs; Architecture; History of the V&A

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.