Like I mentioned in Six Days in London, the Victoria & Albert Museum was the first one Annemari and I visited in September, largely because it was still open when we finished our afternoon tea at Patisserie Valerie across the road. It seemed a lot bigger to me in 2007 than it did in September, though, and that would be because it has “reduced gallery openings after 18.00” on Friday (when it’s open until 10 PM). That explains that! Wow, an explanation for a V&A thing. Color me fucking astonished.
See, the thing about the V&A is that I seriously cannot make sense of it at all. I went to the website and everything just now to try and figure out what in the world the swirl reminiscent of a sea creature that’s installed on the ceiling represents, or where it came from, and I can’t even find that. I found out they have a Diwali installation, though! If you’re into that.
Despite my complete lack of comprehension skills when it comes to this museum, I quite enjoy it. It has a lot of artifacts and types of art, from entire pieces of architecture (like legit house façades) and furniture to ironwork to sculpture, photography and fashion. My favorite thing about this visit was getting to take photos of everyone sketching Rodin sculptures; I’ve decided I’m going to make a point of this whenever I go to art museums in the future (swap out Rodin for… actually between casts and collections, you may not have to). Remind me to take business cards with me next time.
But anyway, without further ado: here are some of the things (and people!) that caught my eye.
Info! They’re open until 10 PM on Fridays! This is one of the few museums that acknowledges the habitual schedules of southern Europe tourists (and whoever else is used to things closing after lunch and opening up again for three hours at 6 PM). Don’t go after 6 PM on Fridays if you’ve been there before and want to see more of it, though. It opens (all of it) from 10 to 17:45 every day. Admission to the main collection is free. Exhibits usually have a fee.
You can go in through the main entrance on Cromwell Road (right next to the Natural History Museum), the one on Exhibition Road (I used that one in 2007; it’s usually much emptier and you’re not instantly faced with a weird-ass thing hanging from the ceiling), and in a lovely fit of ‘London, you’ve lost it,’ you can ALSO go in through an entrance inside the South Kensington tube station. TRUE STORY. I have seen it and I just confirmed it still exists.
I would not call the V&A a favorite museum — I’m partial to art, and within that I’m partial to the Tate Britain. But it’s an awesome place to get lost for an entire day and regret you didn’t arrive earlier.
Have you been to the V&A? What’s your favorite of their collections?