Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This breath-taking museum is free!  The Victoria and Albert Museum is a collection primarily of artifacts spanning time and the world.  The emphasis on objects, to me, makes the vast collection more approachable.  You can imagine a person making and then using a Tibetan vajra in a way that sparks a connection more than a painting.  There is an interesting collection of decorative cast iron; a sculpture court; the throne of a Sikh maharaja.  There is a huge collection of jewelry that is especially awe-inspiring.  Also fascinating is the Court of Casts.  These beautiful, full-scale models present monumental sculptures and architectural details.  It must have been wonderful for people to have an opportunity to see "David" by Michelangelo, in an accurate reproduction, in a time when travel was a luxury available to the few.

To me, the highlight was the Refreshment Room.  These spaces were designed by leading Arts & Crafts artists of the day.  It was the first cafe in a museum, which shows that the collection was meant to be enjoyed by a wide audience.

We enjoyed tea and scones under the watchful eye of these peacocks.

Facade of the interior courtyard

The main refreshment room decorated for the Hols

Another detail

This wall treatment from the refreshment room appears to be wallpaper, from a distance:

Here are some pieces from the collection:

This almost life-size automaton emits groans from the victim (English) 

Me with a hangover (actually the Minotaur as sculpted by Canova)

An overview of one part of the Court of Casts

Detail of an altar

One of many wrought iron pieces

A triptych altar:


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