V and A Glass Galleries

I like the Glass Galleries at the V&A. They’re always quiet, even on weekends when the most popular rooms are full to bursting.

It’s probably because they’re all the way up on the 4th floor, a long walk via this marble staircase which totally makes me think of Stilton.

Tell me you don't look at this and wish for a giant box of cream crackers

The glass exhibits are jammed together in the old-fashioned ‘pile em high’ style of curation, also used in local history museums (and charity shops). Some of the objects are rather astoundingly tacky, which is always fun to see.

I get the feeling that the staff at the V&A have forgotten about this gallery, as well as most of the visitors. Check out Exhibit A below:

That date at the bottom? Oh, that’s just the 18th Nov, 2011. This case has been ‘in course of arrangement’ for about 6 years. Nothing major.

It’s not just one display case either. Whoever RL, HY and JC are, they clearly had one hell of a long lunch.

Yellow slips are scattered around the gallery with careless abandon. Many gaudy Victorian beetroot dishes (or whatever  – frankly I have no idea) are ‘yet to be labelled’. Have any senior V&A staff ventured up here in the last 5 years? Where are RL, HY, and JC now? It’s a mystery.

They did get around to labelling this small object before they left.

 It looks pretty ordinary and small from a distance, even though it’s on a pedestal. It’s actually an Egyptian perfume flagon, and has managed to stay intact for 4,000 years, which is quite mind-boggling.

The other reason people visit these galleries is for the members room, which is hidden behind a mirror at the end. They’ve put a sign on it now and spoiled all the fun of opening an invisible doorway, but it’s a nice space inside for tea and a biscuit. Strictly for members only though (actually they never check, but don’t tell the V&A I told you).

Worth a look next time you’re in South Kensington.

5 thoughts on “V and A Glass Galleries

  1. G&T November 25, 2011 / 7:42 PM

    I think the items that they are still arranging are probably martini glasses. Those ladies have been imbibing gin since 2005 (smart thinking, they’ve missed the economic crisis etc.).

    • yesilikethat November 25, 2011 / 8:29 PM

      Good thinking. They are probably still in a bar somewhere in South Ken, having a little tipple before going back to work and finishing off that boring glass labelling.

  2. leahfranqui November 25, 2011 / 6:38 PM

    I adore the V and A. Of course, I’m very rarely in South Kensington. At least, not the one you mean. We actually have a neighborhood called Kensington here in Philadelphia. That is a true story.

  3. didyoumakethat November 25, 2011 / 12:57 PM

    Great tip about the members room! Not that I would slip in there, as a non-member, you understand. Wouldn’t dream of it…

    • yesilikethat November 25, 2011 / 1:09 PM

      Of course not, I’m sure you are a fine, law-abiding citizen and would never abuse a museum tea room in this manner.

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