7 October 2013

Nice things and confusing things in the V&A

I love the Victoria and Albert Museum SO MUCH! If I lived nearby I go there at least two or three times a week.
Not only is the building beautiful, but it's jam-packed full of gorgeous stuff.
Last time I went there I restricted myself to just two rooms.
The inside/outside space on Level 0 near the main entrance to the right contains many fascinating things including the carved timber framed frontage from St Paul Pindar's House that used to sit in Bishopsgate and some other hand carved doorway furniture all festooned with gravity-defying tits. I have written about this kind of thing before, here.
But the thing that held my attention for the longest time in that area was the table/desk contraptions at which two scribes were sitting. How on earth did these men squeeze themselves into these things? Did the table section hinge or flap? And why when there is so much detail on the rest of these carvings is this not made clear? It's hard to explain this without you seeing the carvings in the stoney flesh. Answers please.
Then to one of the Cast Rooms (the other was closed for renovation). These two rooms are awe-inspiring. Big things – Trajan columns, statues, cathedral and baptistry doors, all covered in exquisite little details and stories. The time and effort taken to carve the originals is one thing, but the time and effort taken to make the moulds for these casts is another.
Last year I spent a pleasant afternoon chatting with a friend on the bench in front of the very large and very beautiful Ardabil Carpet in the Jameel Gallery. The lights faded on and off every half hour. It was mesmerising.
It's possible to see a lot of the exhibits online using this wonderful map, but it's just not the same as being there and soaking in the atmosphere.
Sigh...

1 comment:

Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry said...

Hey Jane, Love the V&A too. Its woderful to go loose yourself in there for a few hours....