South Kensington Museum

Kensington Museum

South Kensington Museum .—This very interesting national establishment is situated at South Kensington, near the Cromwell and Exhibition Roads, on ground bought out of the profits of the Great Exhibition of 1851.  The varied contents have been either presented to, or purchased by, the nation, with the exception of a few collections which have been lent for temporary periods.  They consist of illustrations of manufactures and the useful arts; models of patented inventions; collections of raw produce, derived from the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms; a museum of educational appliances; casts from sculptures and architectural ornaments; objects of ornamental art, both mediæval and modern; naval models, &c.  Besides these, there are the fine collections of paintings presented to the nation by Mr. Sheepshanks, and other liberal donors; and a portion of the Vernon collection, the rest being at the National Gallery.  Turner's pictures, bequeathed to the nation in his will, were kept here for some years, but were removed to the National Gallery in 1861.  There are, among the group of buildings, some devoted to the Government Department of Science and Art; but the Museum generally is, so far as concerns the public, distinct.  The Gallery of British Art contains many hundred pictures, including choice specimens by Turner, Wilkie, Mulready, Landseer, Leslie, Hogarth, Wilson, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Lawrence, Constable, Loutherbourg, Callcott, Collins, Etty, Stanfield, Roberts, Uwins, Creswick, Maclise, Webster, Eastlake, Ward, Cooke, Cooper, Danby, Goodall, &c.  The rooms containing these pictures, planned by Captain Fowke, are remarkable for the admirable mode of lighting, both by day and in the evening.  On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays, the admission is free from 10 a.m. till 10 p.m.; on the other three days, called students' days, 6d. is charged from 10 a.m. till 4, 5, or 6, according to the season.  This is one of the very few free exhibitions open in the evening (thrice a-week) as well as the daytime.