Wednesday, August 17, 2011

More museums

After a very slow start (much wine was consumed last night), I met Hayley at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington.

This sculpture in the Grand Entrance reminded me of lots of those bendy balloons twisted together 

It was cool, but so big. We decided to take a free tour and the one about to start when we arrived was of the Theatre and Performance section. Turns out, this collection used to be housed at a separate museum at Covent Garden which I'd forgotten I'd visited in 2005. It was great seeing lots of set models, costumes, and posters and hearing some stories you wouldn't have heard just wandering around. But it wasn't quite as useful as one of the general tours would have been, because at least that would have given us some direction in terms of what sections we might be interested in. After our tour we went to the jewellery section and the tapestry section (kept in a heat and light controlled room which smelled like vinegar) to protect tapestries from the 1500s.

In this tapestry they're apparently playing a game called 'Le Main Chaude' (the hot hand), in which someone was blindfolded and had to guess who was slapping their hand. Strange.

Unfortunately, the fashion section that I had been looking forward to was closed for rennovations. So was the furniture section that also seemed interesting. It was nice just wandering through the giant museum, though, and there was some cool furniture in the modern section.

I had something to eat in the cafe before we left and this was the view if you looked up.

Both Hayley and I had seen posters advertising the Museum of Childhood on our separate ways to the V&A and thought the Judith Kerr exhibition looked interesting as we both know her books, so we asked how to get there. Turned out it it's on the other side of town and closed in two and a half hours. We decided to risk it and jumped on the tube.

On the way to the tube station we saw the above on one of the V&A's exterior walls.

It was so hot on the tube and we had to go all the way to Bethnal Green, but it was worth it, the Museum of Childhood was great!

The Judith Kerr exhibition was one of the best I've been to. She wrote and illustrated The Tiger Who Came to Tea, the Mog picture books, and novels such as When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, based on her own life in which she and her family had to escape from Germany in 1939 as her father was a well-known journalist and screenwriter who was an early critic of the Nazis. One of the most amazing parts was that despite having to move through four countries in seven years, Judith's mother had kept some of Judith's stories and drawings from when she was younger and these were on display. There were also lots of the original illustrations from her picture books and interviews with her about her drawing and writing process.

The museum overall was so well set up, geared towards adults and children. In the exhibition there were lots of things for kids to do, like a little kitchen with a big tiger toy so they could act out the story of The Tiger Who Came to Tea, suitcases and a toy box so they could choose which toys to take like the girl in When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, a table with colouring pencils and pictures from Mog to colour in, and a giant cat basket with cushions in it for sitting in like a cat.

We had a quick wander through the rest of the museum before the bell rang to say it was closing time. I loved the dolls' houses the best (even though I don't like dolls, and there were definitely some creepy dolls in the museum, it makes me shudder just thinking about them, I'm so glad they were in glass cases otherwise I probably wouldn't have wanted to stay at the museum). There were some incredibly detailed dolls' houses, some copies of actual houses in London made for rich children. There was a dolls' house donated by Queen Mary that she had furnished herself.

I would definitely recommend the musuem to other people, especially people travelling with children as there is so much for them to do. Every section had something for kids to play with or do.

Then it was home on the hot tube for a somewhat early night, which included ringing Nana and Tricia for a baby update. Sounds like the snow at home has been very eventful - I can imagine a Judith Kerr story about a family having to get taken off the farm through the snow on a tractor in case the baby decides to come!

No comments:

Post a Comment