Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Delving into the Past

If I had to choose a museum to get lost in, it would have to be the
V&A. I love wandering around the galleries and it doesn't matter how many times I visit, I always find a treasure I haven't seen before. Rather than doing everything in one day, I tend to pop into the museum whenever I'm in London and choose one or two galleries to explore. More often than not, I'm drawn to the textiles and jewellery galleries!

In the next few months there's not one, but two exhibitions that I can't wait to see at the V&A! Grace Kelly Style opens in April, but before then there's Quilts 1700-2010, which starts in March. Here's a sneaky peak at some of the quilts that will be on display...

At the End of the Day, 2007, Natasha Kerr © V&A Images

Natasha Kerr created this piece as a tribute to her grandfather who was interned during World War Two and was released to carry out essential hospital work. Incorporated into a flag identity, it's made from antique French bed linen.

To Meet My Past, 2002 Tracey Emin, The Saatchi Gallery, London

Tracey Emin used embroidery and appliqué in this installation to illustrate periods of pain and despair. I think it's interesting from the point of view that it shows how a quilt can be used to store personal and collective memories (although I think I'd be more drawn to record happy events).

Liberty Jack, 2008, Janey Forgan © V&A Images

I love this quilt. I've seen it so many times in pictures that I'm really looking forward to finally seeing it 'for real'.

Ann West (detail), 1820 © V&A Images

Ann West's quilt features scenes of biblical and everyday life and is exquisitely detailed. It's thought to have been intended as an educational piece for children.

Bishops Court quilt, 1690-1700, Unknown maker © V&A Images

Until the V&A's experts did a spot of date testing on this quilt, it was always thought that the future King Charles II slept under it as he fled from the Civil War. It's more likely that the quilt was made nearer 1700, so the Royal connection remains a bit of a myth.

Elizabeth Chapman (detail) 1829, © V&A Images

Thought to have been a marriage commemoration between John and Elizabeth Chapman, the V&A discovered that the poem on the front of this quilt is actually a macabre epitaph connected to the tale of a dentist who didn't do quite as he should have done when his wife passed away.

George III reviewing the troops (detail), 1803 - 1805, Unknown maker
© V&A Images

This coverlet documents significant military and naval events as well as everyday life and includes self-portraits of its maker in some of the well-known pictures.

Do let me know what your favourite museums are...I love discovering new places to visit!


Country Cottage Chic said...

the quilts are fabulous aren't they?

as we live near Bristol we go there quite often for various exhibitions, the latest & possibly most famous being the Banksey exhibition last summer.


Pomona said...

I love the V&A - I will have to find time for that exhibition. I also love their sampler collection - and the National Art Library there is also the loveliest place to work.

Pomona x

Quilt it & Dotty www.quilt-it.nl said...

I am going to visit this exhibit in the V&A this spring.Love these antique quilts!
But my favorite museum is The Rembrandt Museum in Amsterdam and the Openlucht Museum in Arnhem, both the Netherlands. The last one has a collection of quilts, being displayed in 3 books and only seldom in an exhibition :-( .