Mark Jones was the perfect choice to run the V & A; he had successfully masterminded the new building for the Museum of Scotland before he left, and he appears undaunted by the challenge of the brilliant Libeskind spiral, as yet still at the fund-raising stage. In the interim he has now seen through the new British Galleries (costing £31 million) where the massive under-displayed treasures of the museum’s collection have been ‘troved’ to a rare scale of glittering match and contrast. From the everyday, such as ‘Taking tea’, a display transforming the ritual and its objects so central to British life, to a rare and exotically fashionable performance for the very few — which is how it began, to the obsession with beds. On the one hand the Great Bed of Ware, always a talking point in the old jumble, is now appropriately housed and accessible, on the other hand the Earl of Melville’s massive four-poster (c.1700) yawns seductively in all its timeless, tasselled, decadence. But, was the Earl up to the performance supposed?
Power of Making
A life-size crocheted brown bear (crochetdermy = due to it resembling taxidermy), a cross-stitched work by the only male member of the Chelsea Ladies sewing group, a woman's prosthetic leg; custom-made coffins and bicycles, and a King Gorilla made from metal coat hangers, are brought together among over 100 other remarkable objects in the exhibition Power of Making, at the Victoria and Albert Museum in collaboration with the Crafts Council.
From Neon to New Order. Postmodernism: Style and Subversion, 1970-1990
'Some of the best postmodernists are modernists on a holiday from orthodoxy' claimed Charles Jencks, postmodernist architect and critic, during a recent discussion with architect Rem Koolhaas. In stating this, Jencks implied postmodernism to be pure denial, mere subversion: the adolescent straining against the shackles of its modernist parentage.
Post Office or Postmodern? Postmodernism: Style and Subversion, 1970-1990
'The design for the extension to the National Gallery, London, when finally won in competition by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott-Brown (1984), was a subtle deconstruction of the grandiose classical fa
Designs On at the University of Dundee
The exhibition Designs On at the University of Dundee was conceived as part of the conference V&A at Dundee, which explored the feasibility of building a V&A museum in the Scottish city of Dundee. Designs On showcases some of the best applied art, and design in the UK.
Baroque World: Baroque 1620-1800: Style in the Age of Magnificence, V&A, London 2009.
Baroque is above everything, the word for a particular style in music, ceramics, furniture, drama, carving and of course, architecture. There was never such a term until after the period had receded into history. But as this well curated exhibition shows, it spread across the globe from Europe to Latin America, to Asia, almost as a pandemic in cultural terms.