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Old December 5th, 2008, 08:51 PM   #2
Louis Dubreuil
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1
Default disapointing V&A

V&A museum is presented as a great museum for decorative arts (4 millions objects, 10 km of galleries...)

I was in London last week for a touristic little trip. The V&A was one of the must see munument. The museum is very labyrinthic and it is easy to lost oneself in the dedal of the rooms and galleries (and the Minotorus can appear suddenly at a corner ....). So, it is not easy to reach the textile rooms.
When reached those rooms are very desapointing. The concept itself is not satisfying : half conservation rooms/half display rooms. The conservation of textiles need darkness and the display need some light. So the rooms are lightened by a very "niggardly" light provided by some scarce fluorescent tubes disposed on high level ceilings. The light mood is very very sad.

About the rugs : they hang from metallic supports, the sames than in mechanical rugs shops....With plastics on the top for avoiding dust deposures...Only the two rugs in front are visible. People is not allowed to tuch or to move the stands.

There is a poor balutch bag face in a frame at the rug room corner...

Glass cabinets display some exotic costumes in an other textile room, with problem of lighting and reflections.




In an other room archeologic textiles are displayed, always in the most sad way, with sad light and old fashion glass cabinets.


Some cabinets have inclined glasses at the top, covered with a "lovely" curtain that has to be moved to see what is behind. Other items are disposed in vertical slipping frames. if you want to see what is in the frames you have to pull each frame...

Those rooms could be a museum of the museography....

I can understand that this museum lacks of financial power for modernising the display of is overnumerous collection, but this situation is particularly harmfull in the case of textiles, and the ambiguity between conservation and public display is particularly obvious in the case of textile material. It is more simple for items like iron works or stone pieces.

It could be interesting to know the opinion on this subject from peoples involved in other textile museum (John for ex).

I have the knowledge of other french museum (Lyon textile museum, Quai Branly museum) on which the displaying of textiles is better made (with, for ex, a periodic turnover of the displayed textiles in order to avoid light damages).

I have had also some disapointment at the British Museum. There was a special thematic exhibition on traditional life, based on numerous tribal artifacts among which some beautifull tribal textiles. The consequence of the way chossed to display those items was some costumes was six meters above the ground... without any possibility to see any details.

From this point of view, my opinion, but I can be taxed to be too "chauvin" (and I do not not know american museums...), the Quai Branly museum has some advance in the possibilties to display very interesting tribal artifacts to very numerous peoples, in very comfortable conditions. V&A museum represents the old fashion way, with rooms reserved only to dusty gray scholars....


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