Victoria & Albert Museum

Last spring, I had my students write persuasive essays on which museums I should visit and why. One piece that caught my eye was Viktoria’s, which gave several compelling reasons why I should visit the Victoria and Albert Museum.

It seems like many of my stories wind up leading back to community. For example, members of my 2009-2010 class may remember meeting Matt Pizzimenti, who visited us in the fall while he was out traveling and starting a business in San Francisco. Matt and I went to high school together, but we didn’t see each other after 2001, when I graduated. Yet when he sent me a message saying he was heading out to Seattle, I immediately asked him to stop by our classroom and spend some time hanging out with me. UCMST tied us together for life.

Back to London. I checked my e-mail one evening and discovered a message from my friend Jack Zaloga, who was also in my graduating class at UCMST.

“So this is going to sound weird, but were you getting out of a cab in SoHo about four hours ago?” Indeed I was! Jack moved to California after going to the University of Michigan, and I hadn’t really seen him since 2001 either. And now, here we were, randomly meeting up in a city of millions of people! It was so fantastic to see him.

Jack and I

After walking through the city, Jack and I made our way to the Victoria and Albert Museum. I didn’t realize it was a museum of art and design, which meant it had all sort of items that artists had to create for some purpose — everything from furniture to clothes to household appliances to old-fashioned locks and gates.

Viktoria asked me to take a look for some fabulous purple Vivienne Westwood shoes. The problem is that museums have TONS of items and they can’t have every item on display at the same time — there’s just not enough room! So these red shoes were on display instead.

Vivienne Westwood platforms!

It was also great to see the giant Chihuly sculpture that was hanging over the information desks right in the main lobby. Hard to believe that a local Northwest artist has such an incredible piece in a museum in a different country!

Chihuly chandelier in the V&A rotunda

One last note: I thought you might want to check out how they clean the chandelier!

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