Creating the V&A: Victoria and Albert’s Museum

Wednesday 23rd October 2019, 18.00 – 19.30 (doors open at 17.30)
Huntley Room, London Metropolitan Archives.

In this bicentenary year of their births, celebrate the contribution made by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to the creation of the V&A.

This lecture will explore how the young Royal couple played key roles as public supporters and as large-scale lenders, before the museum grew its own collections.

Julius Bryant is Keeper of Word and Image at the Victoria and Albert Museum, with responsibility for paintings, prints, drawings, photography, posters, watercolours, the art of the book, the Archive of Art and Design and the National Art Library. He has been the V&A’s lead curator for a series of major exhibitions on polymath designers. Julius was also the V&A’s lead curator for the major exhibition on the V&A organised by the Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn in 2011-12, and editor of the accompanying catalogue. His most recent books are Designing the V&A: The Museum as a Work of Art (1857-1909) published in 2016 and the companion volume Creating the V&A, Victoria and Albert’s Museum (1851-61) published this year.

Advance booking is essential. Please book your place through Eventbrite or by telephoning Alex Fisher (AfL Secretary) on 020 7594 8818.

Free for AfL members, £6 for non-members.


We have a whole host of exciting seminars coming up.  Tickets are normally released on Eventbrite around one month before the seminar.  Our membership secretary will email members when ticket sales go live.  Seminars are usually held at the London Metropolitan Archives with doors opening at 5.30pm for a start time of 6pm.

Past Seminars include:

  • 6th September – ‘Saved from a skip and selected in a Swiss chateau: the curious journeys of archive collections at the Charles Dickens Museum’
  • 4th October – ‘The Extraordinary Records in the London Metropolitan Archives for the Rebuilding of St Paul’s Cathedral after the Great Fire.’
  • 1st November – ‘Mapping history with The Layers of London Project: partnership, public engagement and the art of looking up.’
  • 6th December – Archives of the Worshipful Company of Musicians.
  • 23rd January – From Big Ben to the Liberty Bell: the archives of Whitechapel Bell Foundry.
  • 27th February – Alderman Arnold fitz Thedmar – London’s first civic historian.
  • 27th March – Is it really Albert’s Hall? How one woman’s determination shaped the evolution of the arts and sciences in South Kensington.
    24th April – The Turner Bequest at the National Gallery.
  • 22nd May – London Unspooled: Sounds from the Strongrooms
  • 26th June -The Health of Children in Institutional Care in London 1890-1920
  • 24th July – Maps, Minutes and Miscellany: a Museum Archive
  • 25th September – London Metropolitan Archives Film Premiere


We run workshops for professional archivists and archives users based on the needs of our membership.  While we have none currently planned, we would like to hear from you if you have a particular skill or topic you would like to see covered.  You can contact us here.