27 February 2018

Ocean Liners: Speed and Style at the V&A

Last Friday evening I meet my friend and fellow CIGA guide at the V&A to see the exhibiton about the golden age of sea travel.
Oooh!
Gorgeous!
Beautiful!
Wow!
That's on a boat!
Heaven, I'm in heaven...

Check out the compact tea set, a leather clutch bag shaped like a liner, and some gorgeous fabric – the wonderful typographic pattern on a silk blouse and a late-1960s blue suit deemed unconventional/'unsuitable'.

I love the V&A (well, apart from this) – there is always something new to see and, more often than not, it's been there for decades and I just never noticed before.
The V&A is open late on Fridays. That's great for people who can't get there during the day and don't like having to fight with school groups or weekend families. But not so great is the type of music that's played there which seems to pull in a new crowd of bar-goers who hang around the reception desk at the Brompton Rd entrance in front of huge speakers on sticks which blare out bass-heavy rhythms. I reckon most of them don't even wander further than the gift shop. Or perhaps that's the point.
We found the sound levels offensive and hard to dodge as the only way in and out is past that desk (or it was by the time we were leaving). It was a horrible contrast to the swooning tunes of the 1930s.
The type of sound is just wrong for the environment – boom boom boom! It reverberates and resonates with nasty low-level frequencies around the curves of this beautiful building like some kind of migraine. Music is great but, please V&A, keep it acoustic next time. Guitars, strings, pianos, even brass – but not anything amplified. Thanks for listening!
And before anyone starts calling me old and grumpy – I would've said all that when I was 20.

Come and see some Art Deco architecture in North London on my guided walks

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