A Great Exhibition

Those who regularly visit the Victoria & Albert Museum may be familiar with the first Great Exhibition, held in the very spot where the museum rests. It was a global event designed to celebrate and showcase the world’s many great new innovations (one of which was photography).

The museum strives to provide visitors with a well-informed, experiential, and familiar (yet unbelievable) environment. Walking through the many rooms, one can view beds from the 1800s, sketches from the 1660s, jewelry and silver from the 1700s, and even myriad household items from the 20th century. If you think of anything, it could quite possibly be in that museum. I have visited before, so I know what some other halls contain, but I discovered so many new sections upon visiting a second time.

However, in my opinion, the best part about this museum is its interactive learning exhibits. Today, I was able to experience a Balenciaga convertible skirt/cape and a 1700s hoop and petticoat.

Although the garment was shown as a skirt in its exhibit case, none of us could contemplate how to tie it correctly. Thankfully, it also functioned as a cape, which was easy enough to figure out.

The newest way to smuggle CVS candy into the movie theatre.

Being able to experience something is one of the best ways to learn about it. This is why I love the V&A; most non-science museums are “look-but-don’t-touch”, but this museum encourages the immersive learning of all kinds of history.