Friday, June 5, 2009

V&A by Night

Many people told me to visit the Victoria & Albert Museum. Okay, one person. But I'd found a few Tudor related things online which I looked forward to seeing at the V&A.

Because they are trying to attract young singles and couples to go to a museum instead of a pub on a Friday night, the V&A has a special promotion with Friday evening hours and cocktails. This would work well with my schedule, I could see Kensington by day and peruse the museum that night.
Upon arrival, I went ahead and purchased tickets to the special exhibits of Hats and the Baroque period only to find that both were of only moderate interest. No matter - there was still the Tudor Wing!
After Hats and before Baroque I went upstairs to find the Tudor exhibit. I was looking at the very first displays in the wing when the VERY RUDE guard came in and informed three of us that the wing was closed. He did so in a way that made it seem like we KNEW it was closed and snuck in... despite the fact that there were no ropes or signs. Until AFTER we were removed. Clearly we had no idea it was closed.
Besides the fact that the Tudor wing was the only reason I really wanted to be there, I was really put off by this guard's attitude! It was really my first unpleasant experience in London. I really hate being treated like a criminal when it's their fault we were in there!
But I stayed. I'd paid for the Baroque exhibit and I was going to see it!
Some of it was interesting, but it was - as to be expected - centered on religious pieces of the period which were all Christian. Like my visit to the British National Gallery, there was really only so many paintings of Christ I could take. Yes, the art is magnificent and beautiful but I needed more variety and more Tudor and less baby Jesus!

I continued to walk around a bit, checking out the courtyard fountains and flowers. The museum itself is very nice. With a little more imagination and an outdoor bar, their Friday night event would be huge!

I was exhausted and my feet hurt, so my indignation was magnified. I did find some interesting casts of funeral effigies in the back and the gift shop was lovely. Insanely overpriced, but lovely. Now I know how they pay for the overly elegant cafeteria. Check this place out: I felt like I should be wearing a ball gown as I stood in line with a plastic tray!

I had had enough and it was time to go. I wish it had been more enjoyable. Time to leave the museum and time to leave London. Some room service, a good night's sleep and I would move on to my next adventure... Anne's home at Hever!

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