It is rare to find an excellent theatre museum but we are thrilled to let you know about this wonderful theatre museum we discovered in London. We found it in the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) located in Cromwell Road, London. The best thing about this museum, aside from the exquisite collection, is its open to the public for free.
The museum’s collection started in 1920 when a private collector named Gabrielle Enthoven donated her extensive collection of theatre designs, books, photographs and memorabilia to the museum. She continued adding to this collection until her death in the 1950s.
In 1971, the museum received another significant donation from Harry Beard. His collection of theatrical and operatic prints, texts, and programmes were a great addition to the museum’s collection.
The Theatre Museum was organized in 1974 due to the increasing number of collections that they have been receiving. The growing collection was housed in V&A Museum branch in Convent Garden. In 2009, new galleries devoted to performing arts was opened in another V&A branch in South Kensington.
The collection covers all fields of performing arts, and the materials ranges from plans to video recordings. We feel excited just listing the things that you can see when you visit the museum.
- Costumes and accessories
- Legal documents and account books
- Paintings and drawings
- Printed books
- Scenic cloths
- Song sheets
- Stage machinery and equipment
- Set models and model theatres
- Theatre programmes and reviews
- Tickets and tokens
- Tinsel prints
- Video and audio recordings
The museum gave us an insight on how the theatre scene in London developed from its humble beginnings to its current status. Everyone who loves theatres should also find the time to visit the museum because it will make your love for theatre deeper and richer.
Seeing the artifacts is a memorable experience. We love the old costumes because it reflects the way of life during those period. The posters are lovely, too. You can see the transition from black and white to full color on those posters. There are just so much to discover! It would be impossible for us to narrate all the details in this post. To give you a taste of what you will see, click on the following link to see a catalog of the theatre museum’s collection. http://collections.vam.ac.uk/search/?q=Theatre+&limit=45&collection%5B%5D=THES48602&narrow=1&offset=0&slug=0
Aside from what you can see, you need to make a beeline to the museum’s shop before leaving. The store showcases a broad range of products inspired by its collections. It might not be a good idea if you are saving because you can’t help and buy something from the shop. But it will be worth it because each piece is a work of art.
The museum is open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:45 PM. On Fridays, they close at 10:00 PM. If you are tired of your usual Friday night hangouts, you may consider going to this theatre museum.
So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to this theatre museum today.