Results 11-20of 24 Reviews
June 19, 2006
From journal A Little Bit of England
Hoffman Estates, Illinois
February 28, 2006
From journal My Trip to London
by Owen Lipsett
New York, New York
August 21, 2005
A large museum more in the mold of a spacious art gallery than the British Museum (its closest intellectual counterpart), it's somewhere you can rush through in a couple of hours, or take a day to appreciate in depth. Alternatively, you can focus on particular exhibitions of interest to you, although whatever you do, don't miss the impressive collection of South Asian art, authoritative British Galleries, or the unique collection of casts of famous sculptures that deserves to be a museum unto itself. (Actually, since it has two viewing levels so that you can see them from the ground and above, it practically is!)
The ground floor South Asian galleries are an absolute delight, not only because of the beauty of their contents but also because of the careful manner in which they're displayed and explained. Most European museums don't make as much of an effort to distinguish between non-Western regional styles, but the V & A's doing so allowed me to come away with a far better understanding of this area's venerable and diverse artistic traditions. The British Galleries, which span Levels 2 (1500-1760) and 4 (1760-1900) are concerned more with presenting the evolution of a single cohesive design tradition and do so admirably, if you have the slightest interest in history or art they're an essential sight in London. On the subject of the latter, the V&A has a respectable collection of paintings, but the third floor Sculpture Galleries, which present detailed information on the artistic process as well as works themselves, are more memorable. These sculpture galleries are adjacent to an overlook for the incomparable ground-floor collection of casts – surely the best collection of its kind in existence!
Impressive as the permanent collections are (although an unusually high number suffer from temporary closures), you shouldn't neglect to look into what temporary exhibitions are on display, particularly since these are often free – and the variety is breathtaking. In addition there are quite frequently various site specific contemporary art installations in the building itself. Even if you enter through the tunnel linking the V&A with the South Kensington tube station, be sure to stroll outside to Exhibition Road in order to both appreciate its context (the Science Museum, Imperial College, and Natural History Museum are across the street) and to note the damage its exterior suffered during the Blitz.
From journal London For Nothing - Seeing Sights for Free
by captain kait
Houghton, New York
June 18, 2005
With so many areas to cover, it's hard to know where to start. There are certainly some that are more popular and always safe bets. For example, the plaster cast galleries are crammed with full-size replicas of famous artwork, including Michelangelo's David, which is probably enough for a museum of its own. The fashion galleries show you what the people of the past really looked like. Wild and wacky can be found alongside the typical in furniture. Just keep exploring. As you venture into the higher levels, you'll meet fewer and fewer people. In the ceramics gallery, I found myself looking at some of the oldest man-made objects in existence without anyone in sight. Also, the V&A is built around central enclosed gardens, which are very peaceful. Even in this popular museum, there are places to get away.
My favorite part of the V&A, though, has to be the British Galleries. These house furniture, linens, table settings, textiles, and much more from Britain's past, all arranged in chronological order. This can provide an overview of the "decorative art" history or become a place for lengthy exploration. There are reading and computer research lounges spaced throughout, as well as several fully furnished historical rooms rebuilt inside the museum. Many of the exhibits allow you to discover as much or as little as you like, from lengthy explanation books to short documentary films. And, best of all, the curators have made these galleries kid-friendly. There are periodic stops with designated areas for hands-on exploration, which could include a small craft project or feeling the weight of a sword. My favorite activity (I won't lie, I enjoyed them) was trying on a corset and hoop skirt. Though there are interesting items to be found throughout the V&A, the British Galleries simply provide a wonderful whole-package museum experience that transports you into a different world.
As you leave the V&A, be sure to take a look around the outside of the building, where you can see bomb damage from the Blitz. Fortunately for all, the museum survived and houses treasures for every age and interest.
From journal London Museums
May 9, 2005
The museum boasts a pretty good fashion history collections which includes threads from the 20th century (some Missoni dresses!) to 18th century shoes and petticoats. There is a good Asian artifacts collection which included Samurai armor and kimonos and the fakes and forgeries hall is interesting with the "We double dog dare you to tell the real from the fakes." Turns out the need to find new and interesting treasures and artifacts was so high people took up the profession of creating fakes so that more people would visit their attractions. It sounded better when they told the story. Anyway...
I flew through this museum in less than three hours, and I left really unsatisfied. The only thing that made up for the disappointment was the awesome collection of musical instruments. Musicians of all ages and types will appreciate this exhibit as evolutions of string and wind instruments are on display.
As with all museums in London: to avoid all those minuature adults running around go right when the museum opens or after 2pm! And as always the museum is FREE!! And never, ever visit this museum on a Saturday--NEVER.
And don't forget to donate money.
The V&A museum also has the best gift shop out of all the museums in
London. To get there I would suggest getting off at the Gloucester Road tube station. Walk to Cromwell Road (the busy one) and turn right. You can take the tube to the South Kensington tube station, but getting off at Gloucester Road makes for a nice walk and you will also walk past the Natural History and Science Museums as well. So why not, burn off all those extra scone calories!
From journal London Calling
October 15, 2004
They have a section of the museum dedicated to British fashion designers, and also just exhibits on masters of fashion in general. The main feature is the Vivienne Westwood exhibit, which you have to pay for, but it is WELL worth the money. Here you can see the infamous platforms that Naomi Campbell took a huge plunge in on the runway. Also, you see some of her most artistic pieces of clothing. My favorite, however, was the Missoni display. He is truly the king of color, and if you ask any fashion student in the area, they'll have to agree. The curators of the museum certainly understand the work of fashion designers. They're not just artsy people that make queer clothing for the runway that no one can wear; they're artists that blend color and texture to create something so unique, so pleasing, or at least stimulating to the eye.
Other than the fashion section, the museum has so much more to offer. They have an exquisite display of Asian art and artifacts, including beautiful gowns worn by soldiers, royalty, and many more.
They have modern art, sculptures, short films, and historical findings that Prince Albert collected from his travels. Save a rainy day for this museum; it'll be your ray of sunshine.
From journal These are a few of my favorite things...
Mont Albert North, undefined, Australia
April 6, 2004
For the discerning male art lover, two or three hours should do it. For women, leave them there for the day! The Victoria and Albert Gift shop, though, is reputed to be the best museum shop in London. (I found more to interest me in the natural history museum shop) My wife, again, found many things of interest and managed to find some gifts for family and friends in our price range here.
Overall, the museum is well worth a visit, but is likely to be more attractive to women than to men (unless, of course, I am not a typical male!). The price (free entry) is right too, although after going through the Gift Shop on the way out I'm not so sure!
From journal London For a Week
January 13, 2004
From journal Fun in London
May 5, 2003
From journal London Museums in March
Cinnaminson, New Jersey
August 6, 2002
The closest underground station is South Kensington.
As you walk in to the museum, look up and you will see one of Chihuly’s gorgeous glass chandeliers: blue and green glass sculpture coming out of the ceiling. Admission to the main collection is free but admission to temporary exhibits cost money. Students can get discounts, you simply need to ask. The museum also has a restaurant and a nice bookshop.
The main collection is dedicated to decorative arts and it’s unique because it is very large and it is like a review of world history over the last 5000 years – ceramics, glass, paintings, dress collection, silver, jewelry, furniture from different continents – America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Here you can find Donatello’s sculptures and collection of Art Nouveau furniture, ancient African artifacts and a huge collection of Asian art – vases, furniture, sculptures, woodwork, jewelry, carpets, fabrics and tapestries from Japan, China, Korea, India and Arab countries, also among other things a collection of British silver.
In addition to the amazing permanent collection, at the time I was in London there was an exhibit of royal tiaras. This was truly great. There were so many of them, with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires and any other possible precious stone you could think of, huge pearls, corals, in different styles, in gold and platinum, big and small, Art Nouveau and classic design. I just wanted to stay there for a while surrounded by this luxury, looking at these man-made creations and as any woman out there secretly wishing to once have one of these.
From journal London in May