The Victoria and Albert Museum in London
As you may remember, I visited England this summer and this post will be one of hopefully many more post to come about my discoveries there. But today I would like to tell you about my absolutely favourite museum.
You may think that “Trip advisor” would be a more suitable place to post this, but since they don`t let me attach my blogpost link (no advertising allowed there, although I could really use a bit of traffic), and what I have to say will be longer than a normal “trip advisor” guest would probably be willing to read, I thought this would be a good place to record my enthusiasm for this institute.
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is just fabulous and it`s free (donations are of course always welcome) as are most of the museum in London! It`s so wonderful, that learning comes without charge in the beautiful city of London (In Zürich you have to pay for the entry to any museum).
So when you visit the gallery you will not only see art, like paintings or sculptures, but also furniture, porcelain, fashion, costumes, jewellery, design, architecture, ceramics and much, much more.
As an artist and history of art student I should love to hang out in art museums, but to be honest, a lot of exhibitions are poorly arranged. They are boring and you have to already know a lot to understand what you’re seeing. But at the Victoria and Albert Museum there are plenty of touch screens where you can read about the object you’re examining. Of course that`s something that you can do in many museums but wait! The touch screen doesn’t only show you texts or additional pictures. They also show you short videos that are very informative.
For example, if you only look at “Wilkes Detector Lock” you might not understand the gadget. It would probably be nice to glance at and you could figure out what it was used for, but after I saw the 2,5 min video I was fascinated by this lock and you will only know why, when you watch the movie yourself.
Sadly, I didn’t realise the awesomeness of these touch screens before hitting the middle of my stay, because I just assumed they would probably be as dull as the other screens in other museums, with too much content to remember. So don’t assume like I did, and try them already at the beginning!
Another thing I only got almost at the end is that you may actually open some drawers. I was taught whilst growing up, that you are not allowed to touch anything in museums, so at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the staff had to almost force me to pull the handles. Don`t laugh at me, I was by far not the only one!
Kids are not that reluctant and at the discovery area they are welcome to try on costumes, copy medieval drawings or sing songs. My inner child could not resist, and I as well had to try on some stuff. But let me warn you, a lot of other people already touched them and I think the museum only washes them once in a while. So, the smell of some of the pieces wasn’t really pleasing.
To get the odour out of my nose I decided to meander around the corridors. You could spend days in there and you would find goods you haven`t seen before.
When you get hungry or thirsty there is a breath-taking café (they say it`s the oldest museum restaurant in the world) and not only the food looks wonderful but also the three period rooms. There’s also another coffee shop outside in the garden.
Speaking of the garden, it`s a terrific place to sit and enjoy the sun while soaking your feet in the pond.
The movie room on the 4th floor, which plays recordings from 1880-1900 and a report about the country side houses, is also a great place for a break.
I spent 5 ½ hours in the Victoria and Albert Museum and I was very happy about the sitting possibilities in the movie room or outside on the lawn.
My favourite exhibitions were the fashion department, the theatre section and the jewellery display.
The fashion department was not very big but it has some extremely precious pieces. My vintage loving heart was pounding very fast as I saw the beautiful Dior clothes.
At the theatre and performance sector you will find more astonishing costumes. It`s split in small compartments, with different decorations, and you might fall into another world. I had a lot of fun taking selfies there.
Unfortunately, the jewellery exhibition is the only place in the building you may not take pictures but I managed to shoot these two photos before a staff member asked me to put away my camera. When I was staring at those marvellous gems I could have cried! They are soooo beautiful; you must examine them for yourself.
After a very long day at the Victoria and Albert museum you could go home, a likely thing any reasonable person would do, or you take a very quick look at the amazing building near the museum. Yes, it`s also a museum. The Natural History Museum is located on the same street just a few houses away. I only recommend the visit because the architecture is stunning, from the outside but also on the inside. I will not do a blogpost about the Natural History Museum and therefore here’s the proof that the building with all its details, is well worth a visit. Ah and there’s of course a huge skeleton of a Tuojiangasaurus.
So if you are in London, I highly recommend to drop in the Victoria and Albert Museum and to touch as many screens and open as many drawers as you can.