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Programme - Official programme for ceremony of laying foundation stone of V&A
  • Official programme for ceremony of laying foundation stone of V&A
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Official programme for ceremony of laying foundation stone of V&A

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (printed)

  • Date:

    1899 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Letterpress, blue ink on pink paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case GG, shelf 158

Object Type
The printed programme detailing the order of ceremonies accompanying the laying of the foundation stone by Queen Victoria for the new Museum buildings designed by the architect Aston Webb, on 17 May 1899.

This ceremonial programme represents a key moment in the history of the Victoria and Albert Museum. With the completion of Aston Webb building in 1908 the museum was at last established in permanent buildings and the core collections recognisable today. The art and science collections were finally separated with the new Aston Webb building, designed by Sir Aston Webb (1849-1930), providing opportunities for re-arrangement and re-display.

Historical Association
To coincide with the laying of the foundation stone of the new buildings it was decided to change the museum's name from 'The South Kensington Museum'. Initially Queen Victoria wanted the museum to be called 'The Albert Museum' but was prevailed upon to add her own name. The ceremony had all the pomp and circumstance of a state occasion, with the Queen travelling from Buckingham Palace in an open landau carriage, escorted by the Life Guards, and entering a specially constructed pavilion with seating for the royal family and other dignitaries. The programme lists the events of the day in detail. In her reply to the opening speech Queen Victoria emphasised the royal couple's interest in the museum since its inception: the original concept of the whole South Kensington complex had been originally conceived by Prince Albert himself.

Physical description

Programme, the left half of the object details the ceremony in prose, the right hand is a title page.

Place of Origin

London (printed)


1899 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Letterpress, blue ink on pink paper


Height: 20.68 cm unmounted, Width: 25.2 cm

Object history note

Printed in London

Descriptive line

Official programme for ceremony of laying foundation stone of V&A, letterpress, blue ink on pink paper

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This museum was originally called the South Kensington Museum. In 1899 it was renamed the Victoria & Albert Museum in honour of the Queen and her consort, Prince Albert. This programme records the Queen's visit to lay the foundation stone of its new buildings. [27/03/2003]


Printing ink; Blue ink; Pink paper


Letterpress printing


History of the V&A; Ephemera; Royalty


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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