London Dispatch: More treasures from the V&A

June 10, 2013

portable harpsiThe sign said this is a portable harpsichord. My husband narrowed his eyes.

“Portable has a different meaning when you have 250 servants,” he observed.  True, dat.

armorAs if we need a reminder that war is absolutely stupid and never solved anything.  Just saying.

cherup ugM. reminded me that cherubs sometimes mysteriously ended up having the mug of the Duke who funded the sculpture. Or one of his homely sons. This is just NOT a cute winged boy. Here’s the label that went with it:

cherup exp

Leonardo DaVinci had some tiny notebooks. This is one.  I swear it’s displayed upside down.

leonoteI was tempted to turn the photo, but I want you to see it. Don’t you think it’s upside down? I mean, seriously, are curators paying any attention? Anyway, below’s the note on it:

leo notebkdellarobia bustI love DellaRobbia.  “Wow,” I said to husband.  “It’s not even in a case. It’s touchable.” I reached out to touch it.”Yeah,” he said. “Except for the sign that says DON’T TOUCH.”

dellarobbia ustchihulyThis Chihuly needs dusting. I am not kidding. I’ve seen others this big and this high that look way cleaner than this did.

madonnaWho doesn’t like a beautiful Madonna? The baby, well, a face for radio.


Or two Madonnas. This baby looks more like a baby and not someone’s brother-in-law.

portraint henry8I’m sorry. The first thing that ran through my head was the Herman’s Hermits song, “I’m Enn–ery the 8th, I am, Ennery the 8th I yam I yam…”  The second was how many of his wives died untimely deaths. And the third was “Why is the king shooting a bird?” And I don’t mean with a gun.

sculptOh, the sculpture!


As I admired the male figures, M. commented, “Well, of course, they’re ideals!”

statue fatThen again, sometimes, not so much.

official QE1

Here is the actual, official image of Queen Elizabeth I. Wow.

writing boxI adore writing boxes.

“You have your own,” M. observed. “It’s called a laptop.”

Umm. Yeah. Not the same.

Here’s a fun thing we found at the V&A.  It’s a “write your own” exercise.  Read on:

Try writiingHere’s the image we were asked to write about:

Try writing imjHere’s what one kid wrote:

Try writing kidThis was the point at which I became seriously insecure as a writer.

5 comments on “London Dispatch: More treasures from the V&A
  1. This is so interesting because I just visited the Cleveland Museum of Art and saw many of the same genre. Here’s what I learned: DaVinci sometimes wrote up-side-down, so that others wouldn’t be able to decipher. I love your comment about the male ideal-‘not so much’- hahaha, and once when we were visiting the V&A (when our children were young) my son laid down in the central vestibule and stated in a loud voice ” For the love of GOd Mother- don’t make me go through another museum!!” Needless to say- we returned another day. Love your pic’s!!!!

  2. So jealous. I get all tingly when I visit a museum, and this one looks amazing.

    Sometimes I have to wonderful if all the men who posed for statuary were on ‘roids. Nice muscle, mostly, but I can understand how the nickname wee-wee came about.

  3. Ginger Kay says:

    I love Olivia’s story! It looks like you are having a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing your photos and letting us vicariously enjoy your travels.

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