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Exhibition Review : You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970 at the Victoria and Albert Museum – 10th September 2016 to 26th February 2017

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The Victoria and Albert Museum present a major exhibition entitled You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970 which explores how the changes of late 1960s has impacted on the modern-day. The exhibition considers how present day global civil rights, multiculturalism, environmentalism, consumerism, computing, communality and neoliberalist politics were influenced by five revolutionary years 1966 – 1970.

You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970 will investigate the upheaval, the explosive sense of freedom, and the legal changes that took place resulting in a fundamental shift in the mindset of the Western world. The exhibition shows more than 350 objects encompassing photography, posters, literature, music, design, film, fashion, artefacts, and performance.

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In the entrance to the exhibition, Christine Keeler in her infamous pose on a chair is recreated to show that sex and corruption was very much part of the 60s story.The first section begins with a creation of Carnaby Street and ‘Swinging London’ , the thriving fashion scene was dominated by Biba and Mary Quant in London with model Twiggy considered the face of the ‘new look’.

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Art, fashion and music came together in new ways with the new celebrity pop stars, the leaders of many fashion trends. London was ‘cool’ illustrated by the photographs of David Bailey and Terry O’ Neill of well-known figures including Michael Caine, The Rolling Stones and The Krays.

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The second section explores the rise of a counterculture that began to experiment with drugs, psychedelia, underground literature and pirate radio. The interest in psychedelic music led to the rise of the graphic designers and artists who were in demand for album covers and advertising material. The influence of the Beatles is considered with a recreation of part of the iconic St Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and handwritten lyrics for a number of Beatle songs.

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The third section illustrates the late 60s was not all about peace and love, violent protests took place across the world especially in Paris in 1968 when student riots threatened to get out of hand. Other movements began to gain support including the American Civil Rights movement, Gay Rights, Women’s Liberation and the Anti War movement.

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Increased spending power especially amongst young people led to a revolution in consumerism, futuristic fashion and furniture attracted consumers who were now exposed more widely to the power of television. Real time news of Wars and the Space exploration had dramatic effect on public opinion. a moon rock on loan from NASA alongside the space suit worn by William Anders, who took the defining ‘Earthrise’ photograph on the Apollo 8 mission is included in this section.

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One of the more dramatic aspects of the late 1960s was the coming together of large numbers of people for festivals and gatherings. One of the most famous was Woodstock in 1969 and the fifth section features a multi media projection of the festival and a number of items worn by the performers including those belonging to Jimi Hendrix, Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane and The Who.

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The final section looks at how the alternative communities in the American West Coast began to create groups that advocated environment strategies as part of their lifestyles. Their ‘back to nature’ initiatives would influence many of the latter Green movements. One other kind of alternative community became the pioneers of modern computing, a rare Apple 1 is on display.

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Looking at a particular time period and trying to ascertain its influence is a difficult process, however this exhibition brings together a number of objects that in many ways symbolises the period. There was little doubt that the late 60s saw a global cultural revolution which would have considerable consequences for the decades ahead. Anyone interested in the late 60s with be entertained by this highly visual exhibition with plenty of exhibits to provide information about a short period of time when idealism, protest and consumerism came together to create ideas that are still relevant.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended 

For more information or book tickets, visit the V & A website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

 

The Victoria and Albert Museum and Bethlem Museum of the Mind shortlisted for Museum of the Year 2016

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Two very contrasting London museums have been shortlisted as finalists competing for the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2016.

Being selected as a Museum of the Year 2016 finalist caps a remarkable year for Bethlem Museum of the Mind, The Bethlem Gallery and Museum of the Mind opened in February 2015 with the aim of celebrating the lives and achievements of those living with mental ill-health. The pioneering gallery and museum is located at the world’s oldest psychiatric hospital, Bethlem Royal Hospital at Beckenham in south London.

Themed gallery spaces explore the reasons why people arrive at Bethlem, aiming to inspire discussion, debate and reflection on mental health issues which are as relevant today as they were in the past. The Museum houses significant art and historical artefacts, as well as works by current artists and hospital service users.

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Among the highlights of the collections are paintings and drawings by Richard Dadd, William Kurelek, Louis Wain and Jonathan Martin, each of whom was a former Bethlem or Maudsley Hospital patient; and the oldest objects in the collection, the world-renowned and imposing statues, ‘Raving and Melancholy Madness’ by Caius Gabriel Cibber, (c.1676) – which originally stood above the gates of the 17th century ‘Bedlam’ at Moorfields – now rest either side of the art deco staircase inside the Museum entrance.

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The Victoria and Albert Museum  in London is one of the world’s leading museums of art and design. In 2015, nearly 3.9 million visitors attended V&A sites, 14.5 million visitors online and 90,000 V&A Members, the highest in the Museum’s 164-year history. Major gallery restoration projects has transformed seven prominent galleries and redisplayed and reinterpreted the world-renowned collection of 17th and 18th century art and design.

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2015 also heralded one of their most popular exhibition programmes. ‘Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty’ became the V&A’s best-selling exhibition, attracting a record-breaking 493,043 visitors from 87 countries. The ‘India Festival’ of exhibitions, activities and events engaged visitors in the rich and varied culture of South Asia. Their headline exhibition ‘The Fabric of India’ was the most wide-ranging exhibition of South Asian textiles ever displayed.

The shortlist of five museums are (in alphabetical order):

Arnolfini, Bristol, South West

Bethlem Museum of the Mind, Beckenham, London

Jupiter Artland, West Lothian

Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London

York Art Gallery, Yorkshire

The Art Fund awards the Museum of the Year prize annually to one outstanding museum, which, in the opinion of the judges, has shown exceptional imagination, innovation and achievement. The prize of £100,000 is given at an awards dinner, before an invited audience of the UK’s museum and cultural leaders, which this year will take place at the Natural History Museum in London on Wednesday 6 July 2016.

The judges for Museum of the Year 2016 are: Gus Casely-Hayford, curator and art historian; Will Gompertz, BBC Arts Editor; Ludmilla Jordanova, Professor of History and Visual Culture, Durham University; Cornelia Parker, artist; Stephen Deuchar (chair of the judging panel), Director, Art Fund.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Exhibition Review : The Fabric of India at the Victoria and Albert Museum – 3rd October 2015 to 10th January 2016

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One of the main highlights of the V&A’s India Festival, The Fabric of India will be the first major exhibition to explore the wide-ranging world of handmade textiles from India, spanning from the 3rd century to the present day. Some of the treasures of the V&A’s world-renowned collection together with masterpieces from international partners and leading designers will be in the exhibition which features over 200 objects, many on display for the first time.

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The exhibition explores the rich history of India’s handmade textiles which date back at least 6000 years and how the nation’s rich natural resources for making and decorating textiles has produced a range of plant fibres and natural dyes for the cultivators, weavers, dyers, printers and embroiderers of the subcontinent. It is this innovation that led to local specialities like the golden silks of Assam, the fine cottons of Bengal, or the red dyes of south-east India being highly valued in India and abroad.

Part of the exhibition is a series of short films that illustrate the skills of craftspeople to produce attractive and distinctive weaves, prints and embroideries.

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The production of high quality textiles within India was initially centred around the many royal courts and amongst the many religions. The section called Sacred provide evidence of the way that Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Buddhists and Christians have made widespread use of textiles in their worship. Often a particular dress is worn for rituals or textiles are used as hangings to decorate sacred places.

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Some of the textiles produced for India’s royal courts were amongst some of the finest textiles ever made. The enormous wealth of the rulers and the incredible skills of craftsmen produced masterpieces that reflected status and position. The section entitled Splendid showcases a variety of these royal masterpieces, especially the dramatic Tipu Sultan’s massive 18th century chintz tent in the gallery.

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Although there is evidence that Indian textile-makers exported a vast range of fabrics to the Middle East, Mediterranean, Africa and Asia for centuries before European merchants arrived. By the 18th century, Indian merchants were responding to demands from as far away as Japan and the Americas. Indian textiles became a product with global appeal and an advanced export market developed.

However, the Industrial Revolution in Britain dramatically altered the nature of the world textile market. In the late 19th century, British factories were producing  cheaply manufactured large quantities of yarn and cloth. India, now under British rule were powerless to protect its handmade textile market and millions were made destitute. The resulting social unrest led to increased political movements to liberate India from British control, indeed Indian textiles themselves were used as symbols of protest and national identity.

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After winning independence from British rule in 1947, India’s new government prioritized modernisation, and textile-makers had to respond to increasingly urban environments. Over the following years, they adapted their skills to ensure their continued cultural, and economic  survival.

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The 21st century has seen India’s economic power creating a thriving urban culture and a new generation of cosmopolitan designers, artists, consumers and patrons. New designers and artists are producing fashion and art, often experimenting with hand-made textiles. There has been a movement to integrate the old and the new in ways that reflect modern India.

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This exhibition shows the  astonishing skills and variety in India’s rich textile tradition, in many ways it challenges some of the myths that India generally produces cheap textiles for the global markets. One of the great strengths of the Indian textile tradition is the ability to diversify to meet the taste and demands of the overseas consumers.

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However, the exhibition illustrates that craftspeople past and present have created luxury items for the top end of the market and new developments in Indian fashion and art are finding a way to incorporate the textile tradition into new and exciting designs.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended 

If you would like further information or buy tickets, visit the V&A website here

The Fabric of India 

Prices

£15.50 Full, including donation
£13.50 Senior citizens, including donation
£14 Full
£12 Senior citizens
£9 Full-time students, 12 – 17 year olds, ES40 holders, disabled people
£23 /£37 Family tickets (one adult & two 12 – 17 year olds/ two adults and two 12 – 17 year olds)

Exhibition opening times

3 October 2015 – 10 January 2016
Daily 10.00 – 17.30
(last ticket sold 16.15, last entry 16.30)
Friday 10.00 – 21.30
(last ticket sold 20.15, last entry 20.30)
Exhibition closes 15 minutes prior to the Museum closing

Closed 24, 25 and 26 December 2015

Late night opening

The V&A is open late every Friday

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

A Short Guide to the Victoria and Albert Museum

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The Victoria and Albert Museum (often called the V&A),  is the world’s largest museum of Decorative Arts and Design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.5 million objects.
The Museum owes its existence to the success of the Great Exhibition of 1851, profits from the Exhibition were used to establish the Museum of Manufactures and provide money to purchase exhibits.

The Museum moved to its present site in 1857 and was renamed the South Kensington Museum. The Museum buildings grew rapidly as did the collections including many forms of decorative art from all periods. It also acquired fine art especially paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture.

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In 1899, Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone of a new building designed to give the Museum a grand façade and main entrance. To mark the occasion, it was renamed the Victoria and Albert Museum, in memory of Prince Albert.

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Throughout the 20th century, the collections continued to grow until the present day and the Museum’s collections of ceramics, glass, textiles, dress, silver, ironwork, jewellery, furniture, sculpture, paintings, prints and photographs are considered some of the most important in the world.

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The museums incredibly diverse collections are not all related to the past, contemporary design is an important part of the V&A’s newer collections and exhibitions by modern designers are very popular.

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The Museum is vast and full of interesting objects, therefore it is worth going on a guided tour to discover some of the museums highlights.

Highlights

Tipu’s Tiger  is one of the V&A’s most popular exhibits. The wooden model of a tiger attacking a European was made for Tipu Sultan, ruler of Mysore in India, in the 1790s.

The Luck of Edenhall is a 13th-century Syrian glass beaker

Famous 12th-century Gloucester candlestick

A writing box  which belonged to Henry VIII and was made in 1525.

There are approximately 16,000 objects from China including a spectacular Qing dynasty carved lacquer imperial throne.

The Ardabil carpet at the V&A is the world’s oldest dated carpet (made in Iran in 1539)

The ‘Three Graces’ sculpture by Antonio Canova

The Great Bed of Ware is Britain’s most famous bed; made in the 1590s, it is over 11 feet long and ten feet wide, and is mentioned in Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’.

The museum has around 20 works by the sculptor Rodin, making it one of the largest collections of the sculptor’s work outside France; these were given to the museum by the sculptor in 1914, as acknowledgement of Britain’s support of France in World War.

One of the most unusual collections is the Cast Courts, two very large rooms that houses hundreds of plaster casts of sculptures, friezes and tombs. One of the rooms is dominated by a full-scale replica of Trajan’s Column, cut in half in order to fit under the ceiling.

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The V&A Café

The V&A Café is a popular spot for lunch with  hot dishes, salads, sandwiches, pastries and cakes, as well as hot and cold drinks, wine and beer. it is located in  the V&A’s original refreshment rooms, the Morris, Gamble and Poynter Rooms. These three rooms formed the first museum restaurant in the world. In the summer there is a Garden Café for drinks and snacks.

The V&A Shop

Equally popular is the  V&A Shop which offers a wide range of unusual products inspired by the V&A’s extensive collections. It has a series of gifts to suit all ages and pockets which include Jewellery, furniture, books, prints, textiles, toys, ceramics, fashion, design, glass and accessories.

Admission to the V&A is free

Although some exhibitions and events may carry a separate charge.
Museum opening hours
10.00 to 17.45 daily
10.00 to 22.00 Fridays (selected galleries remain open after 18.00)
Closing commences 10 minutes before time stated

Closed 24, 25 and 26 December

For more information about the V and A Museum, visit their website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here