London, England. While in India, we promised ourselves that we would make it a point to visit at least one British museum to see what Indian goodies ended up here – at least in the public domain. The Victoria and Albert Museum did not disappoint.
We saw lovely fabrics, paintings, gold, silver, ivory and some very precious religious artifacts, all of which reminded us of the magnificent cultures we have just left behind. This must be only a fraction of the collection, but all of it had an obvious appeal to the conquering British. Who could resist?
In the Theatre & Performance Gallery, we got to see the artist Francis Hamel at work. Surrounded by his 27 portraits of major figures in theater and film, visitors could watch him at work in the gallery and ask questions about his creative process. From Stephen Sondheim to Deborah Warner and many other familiar faces, his famous sitters have all held the prestigious position of Visiting Professor of the Cameron Mackintosh Chair of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford University. He must have blessed the day he met Cameron.
And then we wandered through the jewelry collection, starting with Consuelo Vanderbilt’s tiara, admiring Queen Victoria’s coronet and finishing with quite a jewel collection of rings. How we love to ornament ourselves…
The V&A collection of silver is overwhelming, but the old is balanced with the new in silver, as well as in fashion. There is a big Dior exhibit, which we didn’t get tickets for, and the Mary Quant, which maybe we’ll see next time. And then there is just the fashion moment that walks by as you sit in one of the gorgeous dining rooms, or stroll the halls.