Mr Cole comes to Kensington

Presenter: Sir Christopher Frayling
BBC Radio 4 – 23 December 2013

Producer: Catriona Oliphant
Executive Producer: Mukti Jain Campion
Readings: Roy McMillan

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Mr Cole comes to Kensington – ChromeRadio for BBC R4 – Tx 23.12.13

Missed the broadcast?  Pop across to the V&A website to listen again.

Christopher Frayling explores the legacy of Henry Cole, dynamic founder of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and its vibrant design partnership with the Royal College of Art.

At the time of the Great Exhibition in 1851, British design was fast losing out to the Continent.  But by 1871, the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) with its pioneering public restaurant, free admission days and evening openings had become a blueprint for design museums worldwide.

The man behind this remarkable achievement was Henry Cole, inventor of the commercial Christmas card, who had helped introduce the Penny Post.  A bustling, rotund figure with a mane of white hair, ‘Old King’ Cole transformed what had been a teaching collection of plaster casts into a world-leading museum of art and design.  But despite the patronage of Prince Albert, it proved an arduous journey, often fraught with opposition from a suspicious Establishment.

Sir Christopher Frayling is a former Rector of the RCA and a former V&A Trustee.

Contributors include British fashion designer and RCA graduate Dame Zandra Rhodes and former V&A Director Sir Roy Strong.


This entry was posted on Saturday, December 7th, 2013 at 12:00 am and is filed under Broadcast, Our work. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. I was trying to’ listen again ‘ on the BBC inlayer, having had it in on in the background on 23rd December whilst pottering around the kitchen preparing for Christmas 🙂

    but I have missed the 7 day deadline – is there any way of listening again to the broadcast? As I wanted my daughter to hear it – especially Zandra Rhodes and Sir Christopher discussing the importance of looking back in order to inform design 🙂

    thank you for any information you might be able to give me

    Comment by susie begley on 2 January 2014 at 1:59 pm

  2. Susie, thanks for getting in touch. I am so sorry you missed out on Listen Again. I suggest contacting Radio 4 – see my email for contact details. With best wishes for 2014. Catriona

    Comment by chrome on 3 January 2014 at 1:39 pm

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