London 2018: Museums

One of my favorite things in the world are museums so of course I couldn’t get enough of all the free ones in London.

Wallace Collection

Like the Frick in New York, the Isabella Stewart Gardner in Boston, and the Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris, the Wallace Collection is a private collection made public. The staircase is pretty cool:

The museum has a ton of stuff. I kept thinking I was done only to stumble upon another room. When I reached the wing full of armor and weapons, it was time to go meet Yiannis, which was good because my brain was about to explode.

Victoria & Albert Museum

This was so nice, we visited twice. The first time was mainly to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit. We both enjoyed it. While it was billed as focusing on her fashion, I thought it did more than that. It juxtaposed her clothing with her work and other belongings, and also showed how what she wore changed with her ailments. For instance, she made her own shoes that compensated for one leg that was shorter than the other and decorated the corsets that basically held her together.

The second time we visited the permanent collection. My favorite pieces were this creepy little statue —

This one that reminded me of a ghost from Pac-Man.

This Chihuly piece.

This bust of Queen Victoria.

And these gorgeous chandeliers in the cafe.

The VAM cafe was actually the first-ever museum cafe, and the food was quite good. On our first visit, I got a fennel sausage roll (a billion times better than the one I got at Borough Market, needless to say), which came with two yummy salads, lentil and radicchio.

British Museum

What I like best about the British Museum is the Greek area, especially this statue of Venus.

Later I asked Yiannis if Greeks feel the same way as some other countries about their artifacts being in another country’s museum. At first he said he didn’t think so since they still had so many, but then he discovered this was not the case and that Greece wanted what’s called the Parthenon marbles back. However, a little while later the country changed its mind.

Regardless, after our visit we realized the British Museum is a bit, um, problematic? Since the bulk of their items are from other countries and it’s doubtful, or at least unclear, if those countries gave up those artifacts willingly

Tate Modern

One of the nicest things about the Tate Modern is the walk. One way to get there is to cross the Millennium Bridge, at one end of which is St. Paul’s Cathedral and the other is the museum.

I was feeling pretty tired and coldy that day so I didn’t last very long. But I did enjoy these portraits, which were grouped together but by different artists:

Then there was this room full of what looked like giant potatoes:

And this one which I just thought was cool:

Tate Britain

The first time I visited the Tate Britain, I really loved it. I felt like it was organized so well and enjoyed following the timeline on the floor. This time for some reason I wasn’t as into it. Again, partially it was because I was sick and also some sections were closed off so I didn’t get the full picture. Oh, and I think I was too much of a cheapskate to get the full audio tour.

I was, however, fascinated by this painting:

I call it “The Weird Twins,” but it’s actually called “The Cholmondeley Ladies.” It was painted in the early 17th century and the artist is unknown. Basically, the description says, historians have no idea who these ladies are. It’s assumed they’re not identical twins because their eyes are different colors. One description says they were born and married (and apparently had kids) on the same day. They could be sisters or sisters-in-law. Regardless, pretty weird and fascinating.

Next up: entertainment!

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