Friday, May 25, 2012

England, Part Two

The Victoria and Albert Museum! Art and design through the centuries! Highly recommended! I spent the whole day there, just about, and by the time I was done, my brain was ready to melt, I'd absorbed so much information. As I mentioned in the last post, a lot of the photos I took here were blurry. Low light levels and no flash will do that, unfortunately. I've left most of the blurred ones out because I can't show you all the cool bits of detail if they're not there, but also because 100+ photos is probably too many. I'm pushing it as it is.

The earliest street lighting was not gas, but coils of burning rope, in the Tudor era:

Famous statues!

A late-medieval German Madonna and Child:

A medieval cowl, photographed for the embroidery:

Early Korean bronze mirrors (polished side facing wall):

Chinese ritual drinking vessels, Bronze Age on left, 19th-century (?) on right. Photographed out of delight at how much the design didn't change.

An early pottery horse, from China:

A comparatively recent pottery camel, photographed for his expression:

Two suits of samurai armor

A plaster cast of Trajan's Column, in two parts:

And in close-up:

Various Scandinavian works, mostly from the Viking period:

One of four Tudor flag holders (there's a proper name for them, but I can't remember). This is the one that caught my eye first.

A circle of flattened brass instruments, hanging from the ceiling.

You know those cardboard cutouts you can get of your favourite actor or movie character? Apparently they were cool in the 18th-century too.

And then my camera battery announced that it was seriously low and would like to be recharged, please, so I stopped taking photos at the V&A and went to the Science Museum around the corner, which had…

Difference Engines!

Among the many, many things I didn't photograph at the V&A were an impressive jewelry collection; an exquisite collection of jeweled snuff boxes; all sorts of Tudor and Jacobean artifacts, from clothes and cushions to furniture and weapons; many more statues and religious artifacts; a timeline of Japanese pottery; and an Islamic exhibit I skipped because, as I said, my brain was melting. I didn't see anything else in the Science Museum because there wasn't time and not much else looked interesting anyway.

By the time I was done with these two museums, I'd decided that I wanted nothing more than to sit down for the next century, and that I'd seen so many artifacts that going to the British Museum the next day would be overkill. Unfortunately, because I did really want to see the Anglo-Saxon stuff and I think they have bog bodies? Maybe? Ah well, next time. Incentive to go back. :)

Part Three (and Last) will largely consist of pictures of Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliment. You've been warned.

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