Wednesday, May 25, 2005


More pictures on Flickr: people this time.

Got Goodwood pictures back, not great, and not yet scanned.

Saw International Arts and Crafts exhibition at V&A. Some content good, some dubious, some "wasn't this in the Art Deco exhibition?". Layout and design of exhibits dreadful. They really need to start poaching people from the Tate; one picture I couldn't see because the glass covering it only reflected the video projected onto the wall opposite, others gave stunning representations of the spotlights lighting them.

The blurb accompanying each item was often hidden in the shade of the frame (and the lighting there is dismal anyway). I struggled to read it and I don't have poor eyesight (well, in that eye). The main writing section, which offers an introduction to the works, was usually positioned after one had seen them all. Frequently they would have the blurb set out on a panel which contains several other items running along it. The corresponding display paid no attention to the sequence. Occasionally they'd be helpful and number the items on show, only some of this were so badly positioned that to find the number required more bending and peering than a what's-not-my-line competition.

They would have entire rooms carefully recreated from some magazine image. And then label each item at the boundary of the room. Only they once again would not be in any order. So they would have a label reading Bowl. 1200-1300... next to Bowl. 1943... and often the description of materials wasn't enough to work out which of the many bowls/cups/platters was the ancient one (and don't ask how 13th Century Japanese bowls relate to William Morris).

One of the best examples was at the end, with ten screen prints of various Buddhist figures. The text, positioned to the left of the prints gave the names of each "right to left".

I have never heard so many people complaining in any exhibition. Considering pretty much the entire ethos of the museum is design, you'd think they'd have some awareness of it which they could apply.

On to the exhibits:

I'm going to have to cut this off here, as I'm out of time, and won't have any this side of the weekend. Blog adjourned until next week.


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