wed 23/06/2021

Postcards from the V&A? | reviews, news & interviews

Postcards from the V&A?

Postcards from the V&A?

You'll be lucky to find the one you want. Yesterday I took a nine year old to gape at the wonders of the Victoria and Albert Museum's new Medieval and Renaissance galleries, which I've been popping in to frequently since reading about them here. He reeled at the giant memorial to the condottiere, the enormous choir screen from 's-Hertogenbosch, the entire chapel of Santa Chiara from Florence and the gorgeous Hardwick Hall tapestry of a boar and bear hunt, among other treasures.

Then we paid a final visit to the shop so that he could spend some of the £5 he'd saved up to buy postcards of the things he'd liked best. Not one was to be found. I asked the nice girl at the counter why they had so few, and she said there had been a cull a couple of years ago: sign of the times, I wasn't the first customer to complain. The lady waiting to be served beside me  joined in with the moan. What about the musical instruments debacle?  Why so much flimsy merchandise when they had so few books and cards? We went away thinking of the V&A as a naff shop with a great, if increasingly unbalanced, museum attached.

You'll be lucky to find the one you want. Yesterday I took a nine year old to gape at the wonders of the Victoria and Albert Museum's new Medieval and Renaissance galleries, which I've been popping in to frequently since reading about them here. He reeled at the giant memorial to the condottiere, the enormous choir screen from 's-Hertogenbosch, the entire chapel of Santa Chiara from Florence and the gorgeous Hardwick Hall tapestry of a boar and bear hunt, among other treasures.

Then we paid a final visit to the shop so that he could spend some of the £5 he'd saved up to buy postcards of the things he'd liked best. Not one was to be found. I asked the nice girl at the counter why they had so few, and she said there had been a cull a couple of years ago: sign of the times, I wasn't the first customer to complain. The lady waiting to be served beside me  joined in with the moan. What about the musical instruments debacle?  Why so much flimsy merchandise when they had so few books and cards? We went away thinking of the V&A as a naff shop with a great, if increasingly unbalanced, museum attached.

Explore topics

Share this article

Add comment

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters