25 August 2013

Albertian outing #1

The V&A was a filler for the day. It’s a museum of decorative arts. It’s not a field I know well, but I’ve visited a few of these museums recently and they are delightful. These are the arts that we live with, traditionally demeaned as women’s business but close and immediate and varied in techniques and styles. I’m too busy to mention much here. The foyer features a huge Chihuly sculpture of gentle yellow and blue hanging over the info desk. A room of Italian religious art is off to the right and it drew me in. I melted over a Perugino next to a della Robbia scene. The intriguingly Victorian Casts room is a junkyard of massive plaster casts of Trajan’s column and the like. The Raphael room has full sized paper drawings for hanging curtains for the Sistine Chapel. It’s so dark but these are artistic gems if you can make them out. There are rooms dedicated to ironwork, jewellery (two levels of the most gorgeous pieces from old times to now), painting, silverware (massive and overwhelming), miniatures (magnifying glasses provided), photography, even theatre and performance props and more. Again, you could touch. My favourite was a slab of rich blue and green fruits and leaves, reputedly from Andrea della Robbia. The jewellery room was a wonder (have I said that?). I was stunned to turn a corner on to a stunning della Robbia deposition of Christ in the religious statuary. I was intrigued by clock mechanisms amongst the metalwork. I met the man who dusts the cast ironwork (wrought iron always looks dusty in real life, so this was strangely clean). This was just a filler in time before another Albertian outing, but also much more. Truly not just one for the grrrls. Another great museum. Here are a few pics of favourites.

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