The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is the world's largest museum of applied and decorative arts and design, as well as sculpture, housing a permanent collection of over 2.27 million objects. It was named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert; the V&A is located in the Brompton district of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in an area that has become known as "Albertopolis" because of its association with Prince Albert, the Albert Memorial and the major cultural institutions with which he was associated. These include the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the Royal Albert Hall and Imperial College London; the museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture and Sport. As with other national British museums, entrance is free; the V&A covers 145 galleries. Its collection spans 5,000 years of art, from ancient times to the present day, from the cultures of Europe, North America and North Africa. However, the art of antiquity in most areas is not collected.
The holdings of ceramics, textiles, silver, jewellery, medieval objects, sculpture and printmaking, drawings and photographs are among the largest and most comprehensive in the world. The museum owns the world's largest collection of post-classical sculpture, with the holdings of Italian Renaissance items being the largest outside Italy; the departments of Asia include art from South Asia, Japan and the Islamic world. The East Asian collections are among the best in Europe, with particular strengths in ceramics and metalwork, while the Islamic collection is amongst the largest in the Western world. Overall, it is one of the largest museums in the world. Since 2001, the museum has embarked on a major £150m renovation programme. New 17th- and 18th-century European galleries were opened on 9 December 2015; these restored the original Aston Webb interiors and host the European collections 1600–1815. The V&A Museum of Childhood in East London is a branch of the museum, a new branch in London is being planned.
The Victoria and Albert Museum has its origins in the Great Exhibition of 1851, with which Henry Cole, the museum's first director, was involved in planning. It was known as the Museum of Manufactures, first opening in May 1852 at Marlborough House, but by September had been transferred to Somerset House. At this stage the collections covered both applied science. Several of the exhibits from the Exhibition were purchased to form the nucleus of the collection. By February 1854 discussions were underway to transfer the museum to the current site and it was renamed South Kensington Museum. In 1855 the German architect Gottfried Semper, at the request of Cole, produced a design for the museum, but it was rejected by the Board of Trade as too expensive; the site was occupied by Brompton Park House. The official opening by Queen Victoria was on 20 June 1857. In the following year, late night openings were introduced, made possible by the use of gas lighting; this was to enable in the words of Cole "to ascertain what hours are most convenient to the working classes"—this was linked to the use of the collections of both applied art and science as educational resources to help boost productive industry.
In these early years the practical use of the collection was much emphasised as opposed to that of "High Art" at the National Gallery and scholarship at the British Museum. George Wallis, the first Keeper of Fine Art Collection, passionately promoted the idea of wide art education through the museum collections; this led to the transfer to the museum of the School of Design, founded in 1837 at Somerset House. From the 1860s to the 1880s the scientific collections had been moved from the main museum site to various improvised galleries to the west of Exhibition Road. In 1893 the "Science Museum" had come into existence when a separate director was appointed; the laying of the foundation stone of the Aston Webb building on 17 May 1899 was the last official public appearance by Queen Victoria. It was during this ceremony that the change of name from'South Kensington Museum' to'Victoria and Albert Museum' was made public. Queen Victoria's address during the ceremony, as recorded in The London Gazette, ended: "I trust that it will remain for ages a Monument of discerning Liberality and a Source of Refinement and Progress."The exhibition which the museum organised to celebrate the centennial of the 1899 renaming, A Grand Design, first toured in North America from 1997, returning to London in 1999.
To accompany and support the exhibition, the museum published a book, Grand Design, which it has made available for reading online on its website. The opening ceremony for the Aston Webb building by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra took place on 26 June 1909. In 1914 the construction commenced of the Science Museum, signalling the final split of the science and art collections. In 1939, on the outbreak of the Second World War, most of the collection was sent to a quarry in Wiltshire, to Montacute House in Somerset, or to a tunnel near Aldwych tube station, with larger items remaining in situ, sand-bagged and bricked in. Between 1941 and 1944 some galleries were used as a scho
Wayne "Frosty Freeze" Frost known as The Freeze To Please, was an American old school hip hop b-boy known as a member of the second generation of the hip hop/breakdancing group, Rock Steady Crew. He was known for his comedic and inventive style, his trademark move is known as "dead man drop", a move that he created accidentally by attempting a poorly executed backflip and landing on his back. His was featured in movies such as Flashdance, Wild Style, Style Wars, The Freshest Kids, he was featured in early hip hop music videos such as Afrika Bambaataa and The Soulsonic Force's "Planet Rock" and Malcolm McLaren's "Buffalo Gals". In 2004, he and several other members of The Rock Steady Crew were honored at the VH-1 Hip Hop Honors. Frosty Freeze resided in New York City, he made appearances at many hip-hop events throughout the New York metropolitan area and elsewhere in the country. He was stricken with an undisclosed illness during early 2008, went on life support on March 27, died on April 3, 2008
Claire Lynch is an American bluegrass musician, singer and producer. She is a three-time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association's Female Vocalist of the Year honors, she is considered one of the two best female voices in bluegrass, a recognition she shares with Dale Ann Bradley. Lynch moved to Alabama from Kingston, New York when she was 12 years old, she grew up with her mother playing the piano and her father singing. She had two sisters with, including doing trios at church. In high school, she spent recording songs. Lynch's musical career transitioned during college, she joined a band called Hickory Wind, which changed its name to the Front Porch String Band. Lynch played with the group until 1981, she pursued a dual career of music and raising a family. The Front Porch String Band reunited in 1991, releasing the album Traces. Lynch has won numerous awards in her career, including being named the best female vocalist in 1997, 2010, 2013 by the International Bluegrass Music Association.
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