West elevation of the Science Schools (now the Henry Cole Wing of the Victoria and Albert Museum) and proposed extension in the same style thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E , Case A, Shelf 181, Box A

West elevation of the Science Schools (now the Henry Cole Wing of the Victoria and Albert Museum) and proposed extension in the same style

Design
1868 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Henry Cole, the first director of the South Kensington Museum (later known as the Victoria and Albert Museum), had drawn a rough sketch of proposed buildings while the Science Schools were still in course of erection [see E.2033-1921]. The Museum was to be extended in a similar style, so he scribbled his ideas down on a piece of writing paper, knowing that his draughtsmen in the Museum Design Office would turn its content into this attractive presentation drawing. Their drawing contains and expands all the information in Cole's sketch, and shows how the proposed chimney tower for the boiler house, with its spiral exterior staircase, would have formed a distinctive and imaginative landmark. Unfortunately, the Treasury did not approve of more expenditure. The tower, the ground-floor arcade and the duplication of the Science Schools block to the right of the tower therefore remained unexecuted. This area of the Museum site was eventually built upon much later, to designs by Sir Aston Webb, and not completed until 1909.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Pencil drawing with watercolour on paper
Brief description
Design for Victoria and Albert Museum after Henry Cole, Exhibition Road front, 1868
Physical description
Pencil drawing with watercolour on paper. An octagonal tower, charactertised by stacked round-arched arcades, an external spiral staircase and a viewing platform, forms the central motif in this scheme for the Exhibition Road front of the Victoria and Albert Museum. It is linked by a ground-floor arcade to the Science Schools (to the left), and to a duplicate of the Science Schools building (to the right). Two flaps, covering the outer corners of the rooflines of the Science Schools and its duplicate, are adhered to the drawing. On the surfaces of the flaps, these outer corners are finished with pediments; beneath the flaps, the corners are shown as raised blocks with convex-sided roofs topped by a balustrade. Scale bar; drawing inscribed May 1868.
Dimensions
  • Height: 19.6cm
  • Width: 45.7cm
Marks and inscriptions
Dated May 1868
Gallery label
After Sir Henry Cole KCB (1808-1882) West elevation of the Science Schools (now the Henry Cole Wing of the Victoria and Albert Museum) and proposed extension in the same style, with a colonnade to join both structures. 1868 Pencil and watercolour This drawing by the Museum Design Office has included all the information contained in Cole's sketches, and shows how the proposed chimney for the boiler house, with its spiral exterior staircase, would have formed a distinctive and imaginative landmark. E.2034-1921
Credit line
Presented by Alan S. Cole Esq. CB
Subject depicted
Places depicted
Summary
Henry Cole, the first director of the South Kensington Museum (later known as the Victoria and Albert Museum), had drawn a rough sketch of proposed buildings while the Science Schools were still in course of erection [see E.2033-1921]. The Museum was to be extended in a similar style, so he scribbled his ideas down on a piece of writing paper, knowing that his draughtsmen in the Museum Design Office would turn its content into this attractive presentation drawing. Their drawing contains and expands all the information in Cole's sketch, and shows how the proposed chimney tower for the boiler house, with its spiral exterior staircase, would have formed a distinctive and imaginative landmark. Unfortunately, the Treasury did not approve of more expenditure. The tower, the ground-floor arcade and the duplication of the Science Schools block to the right of the tower therefore remained unexecuted. This area of the Museum site was eventually built upon much later, to designs by Sir Aston Webb, and not completed until 1909.
Bibliographic reference
Physick, John. The Victoria and Albert Museum: The History of Its Building. London: The Victoria & Albert Museum, 1982.
Collection
Accession number
E.2034-1921

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Record createdJune 30, 2009
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