Day out at the museum

Last weekend was a tenth birthday for the smallest person in our family.  We took a trip to see Undress, the exhibition on the history of underwear at the Victoria and Albert museum.  The historical timeline was short – perhaps people didn’t have underwear more than a couple of centuries ago or we don’t know much about it.  The early hoops were intended simply to keep dresses from contact with the hidden nethers.  A lot of the history of women’s underwear is about control.  Asked for her highlight, my daughter picked out the oddness of a corset marketed to be worn when cycling.  However, she became bored and found the atmosphere stuffy.  She dragged me out to sit in the main gallery, drawing Rodin’s bronze distorted contorted amputated Muse, and the passers-by on the broad stairs behind.

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The rest of the family carried on round the galleries but small person wanted more time to draw sculpture.  Her sketches are of the bust of Helen of Troy, and an unidentified statue next to Rodin’s Muse (in which I feature, sketching).  My drawing is of Alfred Steven’s full size plaster model for the “Truth and Falsehood” bronze, part of Wellington’s monument.  She was also drawing random people looking at the displays.

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We caught up with the family in the gallery of theatre costumes – by then she was using my phone camera, but I stopped to draw in pen and water, tinting this with watercolour later, on the train home.

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On the train, she watched Monty Python’s film Jabberwocky, with smiles chasing each other fleetingly across her face.  I tried drawing her, but once again I have made her too old and I could not catch her humour or rapidly changing expression.  Perhaps this is a foretaste of her appearance in her late teens, waiting to go into an exam.

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7 responses to “Day out at the museum

  1. Looks like another wonderful day. Any trouble from the guards? Your daughter’s drawings are wonderful as usual, she obviously inherits her concentration and detail from you. Your portrait is beautiful, very touching and I’d say your best yet.

    • It was a nice day. There were no no sketching signs even in the paid entry exhibition. On the contrary, the main sculpture gallery has racks of folding chairs for artists to borrow. There were many people drawing – students I guess, but at least one other child.

  2. Oh wow, you and your daughter managed to cram a lot into the visit – I really like the connection that you both made with the sculptures. They have a very lively quality, sometimes hard to achieve with static sculpture. (I’m sorry I missed this post first time around, WordPress appeared to have unfollowed me from your site for some unknown reason. But I’m back now!) Such a shame our paths didn’t cross on the day!

  3. Pingback: Alternative versions | kestrelart

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