Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Nothing Better

There's truly nothing better than a museum like London's Victoria & Albert Museum, which is dizzyingly full of riches.

Even the cafés are spectacular. The V&S's three dining rooms form the first museum restaurant in the world and were "intended as a showpiece of modern design, craftsmanship and manufacturing."

The large central Gamble Room (designed by James Gamble, 1865–78) is flanked by two smaller rooms: the Morris Room (designed by the firm set up by William Morris, 1866–8) and the Poynter Room (by Edward Poynter, 1876–81).

In The Gamble Room, stained glass windows, ceramics and even a piano (no one was playing when we were there) spectacularly vie for attention. Inscriptions in tile provide a typographical game, with one even ending in "X, Y, Z": "There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy the good of his labour—XYZ." I agree. There is nothing better.

A few questions, though! Why the "X, Y, Z"? Ideas? And while I'm asking for enlightenment, let me know if you find any information about the gorgeous allium-like light fixtures, which were not part of the original Gamble Room (The Central Refreshment Room), which had gas jets but not electricity in its early days of the 1860s.

No comments: