The Cult of Beauty and spoils from the V&A Shop

Posted in Exhibitions

Yesterday afternoon I popped to the V&A to see the new exhibition The Cult of Beauty and it’s gorgeous.

The exhibiton explores the asthetic movement of the late Victorian era, which promoted revelling in beauty and art, just for the pleasure of it. As you would expect from both the V&A and from an exhibition about beauty, everything on display is stunning.

There’s something very appealing about embracing the joy of making and owning beautiful things right now. Perhaps it fills a need for escapism and optimism in troubled times.

Highlights included seeing the first wallpaper design produced by William Morris, a silk purse embroidered by Jane Morris and an exploration of the link between the asthetic movement and the Royal School of Needlework who were supplied with designs by artists including Walter Crane and Edward Burne-Jones.

It was also pleasing to see some pictures I loved from my childhood by Kate Greenaway in the display of elegant handmade books.

After completely convincing me that I need to fill my life with beautiful things, the shop at the end of the exhibition was nearly my undoing. I couldn’t resist this peacock tin containing some coloured graphite pencils (already put to good use sketching up some sock designs on the way home) and a postcard.

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