Home » Exhibitions » Reopening of the Gilbert Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum on 16th November 2016

Reopening of the Gilbert Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum on 16th November 2016

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Photo ©Victoria and Albert Museum

The V&A’s Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries re-opens to the public on the 16th November 2016. The new suite of four galleries display highlights from one of the most important collections of decorative art ever given to the nation.

The galleries will be home to over 500 precious objects amassed by 20th-century collectors Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert, the objects date from the 15th to the 20th centuries and include European silver and gold plate, gold boxes, Italian mosaics and enamel portrait miniatures. 

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Photo ©Victoria and Albert Museum

The new Gilbert Galleries will include a range of masterpieces on display at the V&A for the very first time and feature pieces owned by historical figures including King Charles I, Frederick the Great, Louis XV, Catherine the Great and Enrico Caruso. A life-size silver swan made by Asprey, London, in 1985 welcomes visitors into the galleries showcasing rare Tudor fashionable accessories and tankards; a 17th-century Peruvian gold bowl recovered from a shipwreck off the coast of Florida and 18th-century silver.

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Photo ©Victoria and Albert Museum

The collection is particularly famous for its unrivalled holdings of so-called ‘micromosaics’, and Italian and Russian mosaics. On display are a series of  stunning examples of this art, including Michelangelo Barberi’s table tops featuring visions of Italy commissioned by Tsar Nicholas I. A newly acquired silver christening gift from George II to his goddaughter Lady Emilia Lennox in 1731, purchased through The Gilbert Trust for the Arts, is displayed in the V&A for the very first time.

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Photo ©Victoria and Albert Museum

The Gilbert collection has an interesting history which began in the 1960s when Arthur and Rosalinde Gilbert began collecting and over a period of around 40 years formed one of the world’s most magnificent private collections of decorative arts.  After previous display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in 1996 the collection was transferred to the UK and accepted by the Queen Mother as gift to the nation in 2000. The donation played a pivotal role in opening up Somerset House to the public. In 2000 a dedicated gallery space at Somerset House was officially opened by the Queen Mother where the collection was displayed until January 2008. The collection then joined the V&A, where a newly refurbished suite of galleries opened to present highlights from the collection in 2009.   

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Photo ©Victoria and Albert Museum

Entry to the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries at the V&A is free.

For more information , visit the V & A website here

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