British Museum/Post Card Series

While we visited the British Museum, we were given a task to find and pick out our favorite post card series that was on display. There were so many different types of post cards like political, vacation, feminism, etc. They were all interesting to look at but I think that I had a favorite from the start. There was a section of post cards called the “Altered Post Cards.” Maybe the visuals were not as fascinating as the rest, but I enjoyed the premise behind these. They were tweaked in some way to create visual interest. Whether it be photoshop, hole-punching, or even burning, these post cards were all different. It took a casual post card and altered it in some way. For example, there was a Statue of Liberty post card that was photoshopped so it would have a life jacket on. Small yet funny stuff like that made me pick this series over the rest.

Tate Modern and the National Gallery

For day five, the group went to the Tate Modern museum and the National Galleries which included the National Portrait Gallery. At the Tate Modern, my favorite museum on this trip, there was a lot of things to see. I think this museum had stuff for everyone. There were paintings, artifacts, photo, design, sculpture, interactive pieces, etc. The building itself reminded of a place that housed and built, or fixed up ships. I think this museum had a lot of different things which kept making me excited to see what was next. After that, we made our way to the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery. The National Gallery was great, and yet it was a little surreal. I was seeing paintings that I had learned about for years in my history classes but I have only seen them on screen. Here, I was seeing them up close and personal. I got to see some Van Gogh’s, Da Vinci’s, Manet’s, etc.

Design Museum/Victoria and Albert Museum

For day four, we visited some museums. The first museum of the day was the Design Museum which housed some amazing objects and design pieces. Right as you walk in, your eye is attracted to this sign that changes between three words: Designer, Maker, and User. Walking around the museum was intriguing because there was a lot of things to look at. Eventually, we got to hear a worker tell us how it is working in a design agency. She was at a major design agency and she stressed how important it is for a designer to work hard with his/her writer. Design is important but designers need to allow the copy to be heard and read. After the Design Museum, we made our way to the Victoria and Albert. This was a really big museum that reminded me a lot of the MFA in Boston. It housed many different genres including fashion, video games, sculpture, photo, artifacts, paintings, etc. Going around was amazing because of all the different exhibits, but one area stood out more than any other. There was a room that housed plaster remakes of famous sculptures. The one that caught my eye was Leonardo’s David. It was a remake, but looked completely real. I also never realized how big the sculpture was until I got to see a remake. I got some great photos of different artifacts and sculptures

Kew Botanical Gardens

For day three, the group made our way to the Botanical Gardens in Kew to see some exhibits and the location. First we went to the exhibit housing some botanical artwork. There were these amazing graphite pencil drawings of different oak trees that were dead. The artist wanted to show how beautiful these dead trees can be. We then moved on to these paintings that were extremely naturalistic. If you moved in close to these paintings you could see the amount of fine detail in them. Up the stairs was a room full of paintings, similar to the early renaissance private art shows. After seeing that exhibit, we travelled across the rest of the park to see different greenhouses. Focusing on the anatomy of botanical life, we walked and looked closely at different plants. One greenhouse was housing tropical plants which were really tall and big. Sadly, a lot of the exhibits were closed because of renovation, but the Gardens will definitely be a memory I won’t forget

Bus tour and Transportation Museum

For day two, everyone was refreshed after the changing timezones and plane ride. We all went on a hop-on hop-off bus tour around London. We got to see many interesting sites in London like St. Pauls’s Cathedral, even if we could not take any photos inside. We also saw the London Bridge from afar and Big Ben which was under construction at the time. The London architecture really stood out to me because there are so many buildings that do not fit the norm. In Boston, there are some buildings with interesting shapes, but London has a lot. There are buildings that are extremely tall but are hanging at strange angles which makes me question how it is still supporting. After the bus tour, we all went the to the Transportation Museum. Personally, automobiles were never of any interest to me, but it was very fun to see all the different trolleys and old fashioned trains. While we were there, an exhibit was being showed that housed amazing designed posters. The exhibit was called London Stories and the posters all displayed something different that happened in London. The story could have been very impactful, or it could have been a small story. One of my favorites was “Mind the Gap” which was about a bus driver who sped up and jumped a bridge that was opening up to let boats through. The poster displays this incident, but the story is so amazing that it caught my attention.

Getting Accustomed to London

Before the trip to London, I was not expecting to have a hard time with the reversed traffic. However, it was very confusing to deal with almost immediately. Sometimes it was hard to tell which way the one-way street was heading towards so I would check both sides anyway. Also, on a two-way street, I would always check the wrong way depending on what side I was on. It is ingrained in my head to check the ways of traffic that I am used to doing in America. After a few attempts, I got the hang of it and was consciously checking the correct ways. Besides the reversed traffic, day one was very tiring for me. I have never really flown on a plane before this so sitting there for hours made me exhausted. I could stay awake if I wanted to, but I could feel my muscles being extremely tired and worn out. Also, I did not expect some people’s accents to be really hard to interpret. Even though I have British cousins, there are some accents that are too much different and those are hard to understand.