Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Statuary at the Victoria & Albert

The Victoria and Albert Museum is a beautiful, well-lit, thoughtfully arranged collection of art and art-like objects. It breaks with the stereotypical joke about British museums: most pieces are accompanied by a title plaque which indicates their provenance. (British Museum, I'm looking at you: "basically an active crime scene." - John Oliver) The day was too beautiful to spend much of it indoors, but I did sneak in and poke around the astonishing collection of statuary and... statue-like things:
The scrolling scenes on the pillars tell a story.
The rooms containing these items were themselves pretty, although a bit toned-down and plain, I think to divert visual focus onto the art. Solid-colored walls, understated balcony railings, beautiful square skylight grid.
Door decorations, things to hang on the wall, and freestanding... art? of religious significance?
The pulpits, excised from the cathedrals and collected like medical specimens.

The museum entrance is luminously bright, with a giant open space. In the center of this space was hanging a special... piece. Not quite a chandelier, since it served no lighting function, but in the place a chandelier would go and of similar size, vertical style, and eye-catching details.
The view from below as our tentacly overlords dangle the bait.
I don't remember finding a title placard for this piece of magnificence, but I think of it simply as "default hair behavior without intervention". Yes, in blues and greens.
Level side view of the glassy fuzz of curls.

Across the street from the V&A sits the Natural History Museum, which sprawls over a much larger footprint and is completely and totally delightful. Again, since I was in London for The Single Sunny Day of 2015, I did not spend much time inside. But still... I spent several hours. It was very, very cool. I went on a quest for the whale skeletons --- large, but surprisingly difficult to locate in the museum's people-flow maze. Their full majesty was impeded by the extensive scaffolding supporting the scientists employed to clean and stabilize the whale skeletons, in what must be the coolest boring job title in the city: Blue Whale Rib Duster.
This open space filled with a fine lace of metal and wood.

This post's theme word is crepitate, "to make a crackling or popping sound." The suspended cetacean skeleton's crepitating boded ill for the giraffes and hippopotamuses below.

1 comment:

masha51 said...

It's a Chihuly... Once you've seen one, you will recognize others when you encounter them --- truly an eccentric glass artist.