Meeting Victoria & Albert in London.

Time seems to slow down around museums, and the further I wander into one the more I feel like I’m in a haze with no reference points to hours or minutes. I’m just there, now; seeing. The funny thing is, that when I step back out of the museum time speeds up again and I’ve found that I’ve spent almost an entire day and it’s time to go home (with my load of shiny-new sketches.)

Church Front housed in the Victoria & Albert Museum (London)

These full-scale cathedral doors are one of the many unexpected items in the V&A collection

That’s what happened in London on Monday when I went to the Victoria & Albert Museum. There were points at which I thought I should move on to the next museum (the Natural History Museum was right across the street). But it was at those points that I’d round a corner and see a full scale copy of Trajan’s Column, or the textiles files, or copies of the silver lions around the Danish throne, or a cabinet of medals, or a 60’s fashion exhibit, or, or, or…. I need to go back to make some sketches of the textile file, and a few other stops too.

Trajan's Column

This copy of Trajan’s Column is so large it is displayed in two pieces. For reference, the small cross at the foot of the column was at least twice my height.

Little David

The minuscule figure in the background is a full-scale copy of Michaelangelo’s David. Copies are a staple of this museum which uses them for education and research. Having copies on hand saves a researcher a trip to see the work elsewhere, and allows close comparison of objects that are ordinarily remote from one another.

Out in the courtyard was Volume, an interactive installation by United Visual Artists. The piece responded with lights and sound as visitors walked amid the narrow columns. Here’s a video I took of it:

Musings about life across the big pond by Burr and Natalie Settles. More »