One of the top reasons I want to go back and live in London: how you feel like you could live there for a year, visit a gallery every weekend and there would still be wings of the Victoria and Albert Museum you haven’t thoroughly explored. The free admission doesn’t hurt either.
I’m trying to get better at photographing museums and galleries, knowing everything on display would have been shot to death — as I said in The Art Collectors - and one of my favourites was stepping into one of the iconic galleries at the Tate Britain, only to see half the wall empty. Something about art galleries that are ‘works in progress’ really intrigues me — even the rarest, most expensive and highly prized art in its gilded frame can be taken down and put on a trolley. It did mean I missed out on seeing a bunch of the Tate’s most famous works, but I got the above shot so I think that’s pretty damn neat. And - a big step for me, be gentle - I’m trying out some new, softer photo editing styles. What can I say, it’s high time for a bit of a change and a play and I’m excited to try it out.
I think my favourite museum would have to be Tate Britain, because it was a beautiful, light-filled space, with a good range of artworks in their permanent and temporary exhibitions, and because they have the largest collection of my art homie JMW Turner’s works. They even had a little restroom where you could get yourself tea, crackers and read some art books. These small touches make such a difference.
Three hours of my first afternoon in London involved sitting in one of the galleries at Somerset House, reading all the magazines offered from its magazine exhibition. Worth visiting. The Welcome Collection, which focuses more on scientific exhibitions and natural history, was also an unexpected favourite and its top reading room is also the perfect place if you’re ever tired and just need a place to chill out for awhile.
In all honesty, I’m not too big of a modern art person so Tate Modern wasn’t the best for me and also too overwhelming to tackle in half a day (and the design of its interior flow was frustrating because many rooms were dead ends and you had to double back). The Courtauld Gallery was pretty and featured Manet’s ‘A Bar at the Folies-Bergère’ but its collection was a little small and underwhelming for its admission fee price. If you are a European student with free admission though, go for it.
I also much prefer the Victoria and Albert Museum’s collections to the British Museum, because of the tourist crowds and how overwhelming it felt (and also the fact I only had 2 hours. Big, big mistake). But at least I saw the Rosetta Stone, between people’s shoulders. I also quite liked the Saatchi Gallery as a place, even if the exhibitions seemed to be much smaller.