Recently, I was in London and had the opportunity to explore and experience the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Named for Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, the V&A is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design. Everyone knows how much I love the Asian influence and the V&A’s Asian collection has more than 160,000 objects. You can find everything from furniture, ceramics, glass, sculpture, prints, photographs and my favorite, fabric.
I love the colors and graphics of this bold textile. It has a wonderful movement and the combination of colors is timeless.
The intricate design attracted me to this wrought iron panel below. I found it in the Iron Work Gallery and I’m using it as inspiration for a set of entry doors I’m designing.
This hand-blown glass, organic chandelier by Dale Chihuly is a neck-craning 30ft high. Commissioned for the museum’s entrance in 2000, it’s a statement of their commitment to modern design. Chihuly glass is whimsical, colorful and always makes a statement. It’s very organic and inspires the imagery of a giant jelly fish or balloons floating in the air. What does it remind you of?
Unusual for a museum, the Cast Courts house a collection of copies instead of originals. Reproductions of some of the most famous sculptures in the world can be found here including this replica of a Roman Trajan column. The original is located north of the Roman forum.
Now, I know you what you are thinking – couldn’t she get the whole column in the photo? Actually, this replica is so tall, it had to be cut in half in order to fit.
My favorite photo though is of this incredible collection of tombs. To me, this is one of the most visually and emotionally powerful areas in the museum.
I thought about Victoria’s enduring love for her husband. When Albert died, the 42-year-old Queen was plunged into a deep mourning that lasted for the rest of her life. Her love for her husband was as enduring as the legacy of this museum, an incredible gift of inspiration for anyone who shapes today’s design.