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The Victoria and Albert Museum

A few weeks ago I highlighted the current “Shoes: Pleasure and Pain” exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  During my visit I also enjoyed a (very small) range of other beautiful permenant exhibits! As I mentioned before I adore this museum. It really might be my favorite in London. The museum was established in 1852 after the huge success of the Great Exhibition and moved to its current site in 1857.  What I love is that it’s first objective was to bring the world of art and design to all to see. 

The Rotunda Chandelier by Dale Chihuly. From Seattle to London! 

'Handel' statue by Louis Francois Roubiliac, 1738.

A plaster cast of The Statue of David by Michelangelo and The Gates of Paradise by Lorenzo Ghiberti in the background. There is some fascinating history here! 

The V&A has an amazing permanent fashion collection highlighting the couture of the centuries. This is always a favorite area of mine to explore. 

The Campbell Sisters Dancing a Waltz by Lorenzo Bartolini. 

The cafe at the V&A is a must to visit. It's quite posh and has a wonderful selection of food. Since it was early I went the sweet route with a cappuccino (obviously) and carrot cake. 

The next photo is a little odd; it's not the most outstanding frame but it's the exact view point of a very strong memory I have from my time studying abroad in London in 2007. Our art class met twice a week; once in the classroom and once at a museum in London. I specifically remember visiting the V&A for class and standing in this spot while my teacher Linda Bolton spoke to us about the casts at the museum. It's been eight years but was such a vivid recollection I had to capture the moment! 

The theatre section is another highlight of the V&A for me. 

The above is the Joey puppet from the show 'War Horse'. This performed in over 1,640 shows and was retired in March 2013. The movement of the horses is so lifelike and really takes your breath away the first time you see it on stage. 

I was in London when 'War Horse' premiered and was lucky enough to see the original production at the National Theatre for my theatre class. I sobbed, much to the amusement of my classmates. I've seen the show twice since and both times cry just as hard. The show is ending in London in March and I've been debating going to see it again. 

Poppies from Paul Cummin's outstanding sea of red at the Tower of London in 2014. The poppies were to tribute the lives lost in the First World War, 888,246 in total to represent the military fatalities. 16 of the poppies honored the sacrifice of V&A staff. 

No two poppies in the display were the same, to mark the individuality of the fallen. The poppies were sold to raise funds for Service Charities. 

Costumes of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire are above, with Lion, A Newfoundland Dog oil painting by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer below.  I had a wonderful conversation with a woman while observing this about how lifelike the image is. It's like you could just reach out and feel the wet fur of the dog! 

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The Victoria and Albert Museum is located in South Kensington. Admission is free and the museum is open daily from 10 am to 5:45 pm.