Friday, October 19, 2007
The V&A: My new FAVORITE Museum!
My sister Wanda had to fly back to Frankfurt on Saturday afternoon. We went to the Victoria and Albert Museum in the morning...via the London tube and an underground passageway that took us to a side door. We stored her suitcase with the coat-check clerk and wandered into a hallway of sculpture and then into the Islamic section of the museum. I'd seen an exhibition of selected works from the V&A's Islamic Department about two years ago. It was held in the National Gallery of Art's East building and said that the works were touring the world while a new, improved Islamic department at the V&A was under construction. I'd love the exhibit and thought that this was my ideal destination.
I was wrong.
It was wonderful, of course. There was an incredibly large carpet from the late 16th century that was lit only sporadically....revealing 304 knots per square inch. The Islamic calligraphy, tiles, enamels, costumes, and metalwork were fabulous. Wanda and I were quite happy and finally found ourselves in the gift shop. I saw the central courtyard nearby. We wandered in that direction and found the first ever museum restaurant. All other museum eateries pale by comparison. This was no ordinary cafeteria. A pianist played in one of three ornate dining areas. The food was good; the service was good; the price was no more expensive than everything else in London. Then, it was time for Wanda to leave.
(Above: The hallway of sculpture.)
Had I looked the other direction, we might have wandered into the main lobby with the largest Dale Chihully chandelier I've ever seen and found the walkway overlooking two enormous "Casting" rooms and the Textile Department.
I'M SO SORRY WANDA! You have to go back! I stayed wishing you didn't have to go. I returned the next day with Mathias too.
(Above: One of three very ornate rooms that are the V&A's cafeteria styled restaurant...the first and best museum restaurant ever.)
The photographs I took are on Flickr! Click here! and here.
Posted by Susan Lenz at 1:54 PM