Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Picking Favorites

September 14, 2009 · 2 Comments

I visited all of the required museums while in London: The National Gallery, The British Museum, The Sir John Salone, the Winston Churchill and Cabinet War Rooms, and the Victoria & Albert.  I have not discussed all of these museums in detail on the blog yet, but I want to solely dedicate this blog to the Victoria & Albert Museum.  From the moment I walked into the V&A I realized that there was something different, something that I would not get bored with (which is something I couldn’t say about all of the other museums I visited).


Upon my first visit to the V&A I took the Circle line, which has an underground tunnel that leads directly to the museum entrance at the sculptures section.  An entire room full of Roman structured sculptures that led into the Fashion exhibit.  Now I would not consider myself a fashionista by any means, however I was completely taken aback.  I wandered through this exhibit for almost an hour.  The transformation of clothing through the ages, the detail required to make a garment, and the creativity to create something previously unseen– these are the things that I was taking in as I appreciated the artistry that went into every item of clothing on display in that exhibit.  The aspect that astounded me the most though was the central portion, a place set up specifically to display the work of current fashion students at the Royal College of Art.  It is incredible that these students are able to design a collection on paper and then transform it into clothing that can be worn and then displayed in a world-class museum.

Once I finally made it through the Fashion Exhibit I discovered that there was a Theater and Performing Arts Exhibit and swiftly went upstairs to try and find it.  After an hour of searching and wandering through the other exhibits I finally found the exhibit and realized that I was supposed to be meeting the people I had gone with and so I had turn right around.  I had wandered through the Sacred Objects exhibit, Prints of Beautrix Potter, and Rod Iron structures, but had not made it to the one exhibit that I wanted to see.

About two weeks later I finally made it back to the V&A and went straight upstairs through the jewelry exhibit and to the Theater and Performing Arts Exhibit.  I had heard that the exhibit was full of costumes, but that was only a small section of the room.  When you first walked into the room there was a short video playing about ‘What is a Performance? The video touched on music, dance, and theater however I think performance is so much more than that, and the remainder of the exhibit touched on all of the other things that make up a performance: the planning, the staging, the scenery, the promotion.  Nothing was left out.  I thought that this exhibit was a really good introduction to theater and performing arts.

I’m very glad that I made the journey back out the V&A because I would have been very disappointed if I had not experienced as many of the exhibits as possible.  I think part of the reason I enjoyed the V&A so much was because a lot of the exhibits were not stereotypical ‘art’ exhibits.  I felt that the Sacred Objects, the Fashion, the Jewelry and even the Theater and Performing Arts exhibits all offered a variety of things to look at and for me just another perspective of what I would considered ‘art’.

Categories: Amanda
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