Victoria and Albert Museum

On Wednesday, July 22nd, our class visited the Victoria and Albert Museum which is also refered to as the National Art Library. I was actually late to this library visit, so I heard a little bit about its collection, and I was able to see special peices that were shown to us in small groups. The Victoria and Albert Museum has been called the world's greatest museum of art and design. This was my favorite museum because it didn't seem to have any boundaries on where art could be created. It moves beyond paintings and scultures and into a realm of fashion, architecture, and furniture. I took a very close look at one of the current exhibit, Telling Tales: Fantasy and Fear in Contemporary Design.This exhibit originated in The Netherlands and it features artists under the age of 40 trying to imbue classic storytelling into their creative peices of furniture, lighting and ceramics. The exhibit space moves from a forest glade to an enchanted castle and ends in an interpretive "heaven and hell" atmosphere. There were all kinds of clever items that invoked irony or a funny play on words. There was a sensory deprivation chair that was shaped like a skull, making it a place to "get inside your head". There was a bathtub that was shaped like a boat, in this case a boat that is design to keep water in. I also saw the Fig Leaf Wardrobe that was designed to hold Adam and Eve's clothes with a caption that read that "the wardrobe becomes dressed when the user is not". Lastly, I had to smile when I saw the pillow cushions shaped like atomic explosions and the caption read, "embrace your fears". This is my version of smart art, the artists came up with something unique and observers like me could follow their lines of reasoning. I could not take pictures in the exhibit, but a quick image search of the exhibit, led me to the fig leaf wardrobe ( the bathboat ( The main posters that I saw advertising this exhibit showed a taxidermy fox with maggots coming out of its ears, the meaning of which still escapes me. One of the contributers to this collection, Wieki Somers, said that decadence is when [the lines between] tasty and unsavory, harmful and delightful are no longer discernible. I think that is an awesome definition. It's like a big peice of choclate cake that starts off tasting good, and after you've had a little bit it starts to give you a stomachache and you can't eat anymore. When we've hit decadence we've gone too far. I could go this museum many times and still not see everything that was of interest to me, hence it is the subject of one of my extra entries in this blog.

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