One Day, Three Exhibitions: Part Two
After a breakneck tube ride the cultural cyclone continued, this time to South Kensington, home of expensive shops, Russian oil barons and some of the best architecture to have come out of the Victorian and Edwardian ages. The destination was the Victoria and Albert museum for the first of two exhibitions I saw there: Treasures of the Royal Courts: Tudors, Stuarts and Russian Tsars: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/treasures-of-the-royal-courts/
With an audio guide narrated by David Starkey, the exhibition talks about relations between Tudor and Stuart Britain and Muscovy from the time of Ivan the Terrible. There are displays pictures of key people at this time and the gifts that passed between both countries which cost more than a pen in Harrods, but more of that later.
There were examples of herealdry, maps and armour (including a suit worn by Henry VIII in later life. It was big.) There was quite a bit of bling from Sir Francis Drake. Around the corner were portraits of Kings, Queens, Tsars, Lords and Ambassadors. There was a model replica of a chariot that was presented to the Tsar as a gift from James VI and I, the full-size one can be seen in Moscow. Also on display were water pots, ewers and firearms.
And, as I got to the end of the exhibition, before I walked through into the gift shop, I could hear there opening bars of David Bowie’s ‘Moonage Daydream’ float through the door. Why were they playing this? Come back soon and you’ll find out…