The Victoria & Albert Museum: Our Favorite

Did you know most of the Museums in London are free? You can just walk right in and drop a dollar or whatever you feel like in a donation box-but thats it. That’s all the money you are ever asked for. How amazing is that? Free access for all!

Our favorite museum in London was the Victoria & Albert Museum. It focuses a lot on Design, so of course we were naturally drawn to it. Besides that it has exhibitions on jewelry, to paintings, furniture, iron work, gold and silver smithing and everything in between. I love the variety of the works and beautiful pieces they have. Their exhibitions are always dynamic too. When my Mom came for a visit (more on that later) we saw a recently opened exhibition on handmade objects from all over the world, called “The Power of Making”. From cardboard surfboards (something we had seen at a Maker Fair in California) to giant hand knit rugs, couture dresses and custom coffins, it was right up our alley promoting the idea of quality of craft and hand made tradition. We went back 3 times to this museum during our month in London, and it wasn’t enough!

This is a stone mosaic. We saw a video on how this is made and it was incredible. The whole thing is drawn, then hand carved from marble, and then inlaid backwards!

Commemorative London bowl featured in the Modern Design section

Toy windmill from the Modern Design section

Poster advertising Kew Gardens in London-love this print!

Eric loves this font. Johnston, designed by Edward Johnston was specifically created for the London Underground typeface.

I thought this bit was interesting. I love how seriously Britain took design.

Stone engraving

I loved these engravings on the outside rims of the windows.

Detail of the window engravings

Eric loved this artists sketches-Giovanni Tieopolo (I believe). We saw many of his paintings at the National Gallery. He so easily captures form, figure, weight and life.

These are pre sketches for a statue he planned to do.

Giovanni Tiepolo

Ahhh, the jewelry section. Two floors of sparkly sparkles. They had amazing, beautiful, stunning pieces there but you weren’t supposed to take pictures. Trickster that I am, I took just a few snaps before getting politely yelled at. A funny thing I noticed is that some of the pieces listed their origins as being taken in lieu of taxes from well born families! Can you imagine? The British government takes them in lieu of payment and gives them to their national museums. Incredible.

Carved Orchid Tiara

That blue gem in the middle is a GIANT cocktail ring that was literally as wide as 2 of my fingers.

I’ve got a few more interesting pictures from when we visited this museum with my Mom. I’ll post those when I start blogging about her visit. If you are ever in London I require that you visit this museum! It’s wonderful!

<3 Chelsea

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