Today was by far my favorite day of this trip. After the horrible fiasco with missing the flight I now feel caught up with learning to navigate by myself.
The great thing about exploring a museum like this by yourself is you do not feel rushed to move along the various sculptures or artifacts. I’m rushed around in a city like London so it is nice to stop and breathe. Also, the categories they had were intriguing. My personal favorite thing to look at is fashion, and after several readings about women’s petticoats during the 1700-1800’s, I could see why someone would possibly address not being able to fit through a door.
This was the most popular area in the museum based on what I could see, but the V&A had surprises for me when I returned from high tea by Kensington Palace.
Trade was obviously a common line of work during this time, and particularly going through the ceramic section on the 6th floor, the influence trade had on style was prevalent. By the way, the collection at the V&A is one of the largest ceramic collections in the world. So large in fact that the shelves were too small to even add labels, and it took up almost the entire 6th floor of the building. Obviously museums are known for displaying large paintings, and sometimes they are so large, just a few can take up an entire room. Imagine instead this room is completely filled with tiny glass trinkets and giant porcelain antiques floor to ceiling. And yes, I’m talking huge rooms.
Like one of these rooms, for instance, is big enough to hold tons of these casts from architecture. For scale, I’m 5 foot even!
Imagine now, if you will, tons of shelves with stuff like this room after room.
If you wanted to know what something was or where something was, you had to type in a description on an iPad and then more information would come up. Because of trade, it takes experts to tell where things came from. Take for instance the “Oriental” trend. Examples of oriental ceramics are typically china, probably from China, and can take on a variety of colors and patterns. Often we see the blue and white China, but look below.
Hint: the second one is Asian. I doubt most people would be able to pick the right one I know. Trade is powerful.
This is why I love museums. Because of historians, collectors, and preservers, we can know where something is from, see it in person, and see it in pristine condition. But of course, we also must thank the literary experts that can help us link these artifacts not only to a concrete past, but a past that we want to touch…
Hence, they put glass in front of the glass.