Museums Reviews Travel

Victoria & Albert Museum (Late Night)

There are few museums in the world that bring me as much pleasure as the Victoria and Albert does in London. So you can imagine my delight when I was able to attend a Late Night view of the museum as a guest of the Kensington Hotel.

We were able to wander freely through the current special collections: Wedding Dresses 1775-2014, Disobedient Objects, and the Horst exhibition. The wedding dress collection I had already seen, but it was a privilege to see it again. I had no idea what to expect from Disobedient Objects and I was extremely excited to see Horst.

To be completely honest, I’m not sure Emma and I gave Disobedient Objects the attention and concentration it deserved. But the Horst, my oh my, did I love the Horst exhibition. I had just finished a book about Cecil Beaton so it was very timely viewing for me. The exhibition is wildly romantic and striking. From Vogue to Dali, Horst worked with everyone. You walk away enraptured with Horst’s timeless charm longing for the silhouettes of yesteryear.  I highly recommend it!

v&a entrancecarvingslobbydisobdient objects
Some disobedient objects.

banned books
Alongside some disobedient works of literature. Did you have banned books at your school?

tiled truckstatuesbustsgreekrodinhorst
Inside the Horst retrospective.

stained glassstained glass up close
What is your favourite section of the V&A?

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  • I love the V&A too! I’ve been meaning to go to the Horst exhibition for ages but haven’t managed it yet. Really must go soon though – it just sounds fabulous. I always love the V&A fashion exhibitions in particular. Did you see the Italian Fashion one a few months ago? I really enjoyed it!

    • I didn’t see the Italian Fashion one! Darn! I really, really do recommend seeing Horst whilst you still can though! x

  • sophie warner

    Ah I have such an urge to go at the weekend now!
    Sophie
    x

  • I love late night viewings! The whole ambience of a museum is so different in the evenings, so much more enthralling! I went to see the Rembrandt exhibition after hours last week, and it was fantastic!

    I think I need to make my way to V&A soon, have not been there for ages…

    http://wideseanoanchor.com

    • Rembrandt after hours sounds like one of those experiences that you might remember forever! x

  • Angie SilverSpoon

    It was lovely to see you that night. I’m going back for the wedding dress exhibition in a couple of weeks.

    Lots of love,

    Angie

    SilverSpoon London

    • I hope you get the chance to make it back to see it! it’s quite small so it doesn’t take a very long time to see all the wedding dresses. I think my two favourites are a toss up between this incredible Jenny Packham wedding dress and Kate Moss’. Though Dita Von Teese’s isn’t to be missed! x

  • Gosh, I really miss the V&A. It was my absolute favourite of all of the London museums. Can’t wait to go back next year!

    • The V&A is easily my favourite London museum. Although it’s hard for me to pick a favourite gallery! x

  • Late night viewings make events at museums so fun with the evening time vibe. I think the wedding dress exhibit sounds awesome!

    • The wedding dress exhibit is really great. A girlfriend and I made a proper girly day plan back in May and ate desserts and then went and looked at the wedding dresses! x

  • I interned at a museum in college and I loved when we would have nighttime events and I could walk through the exhibits! I feel like since I went to Catholic school there must have been some sort of banned books but I cannot ever remember it being a thing. I know we had tons about movie monsters and aliens that were in a section with the Choose Your Own Way books which now seems a bit odd!

    • All the cool kids work at museums! (I worked at a museum during college too, and nighttime events where my favourite!) x

      • They were so fun and I loved it gave me an excuse to buy fancy dresses. The one I worked at also did once a month concerts aimed at a high school and college crowd that always ended up super crazy!

  • Wow it looks amazing.I love museums, unfortunately we live in the middle of nowhere and while it has some amazing perks, I want to expose my little bits to more culture and art.

    • I guess that is a downside, the glorious countryside! If I had kids I’d want to be able to live somewhere where they could run around and play to their hearts content and really appreciate the beauty of nature! (And get muddy and messy and have tons of fun!) x

  • Marielle

    The Wedding Dress collection sounds interesting! And the Horst must have been so cool!

    • The Horst was so neat! If it ever travels anywhere else that you can get to I HIGHLY recommend it. The Wedding Dresses are awesome. They have been some crazy things that people have worn over the years, that’s for sure! x

  • LOVE the V&A! I’ve been a few times, but there’s just SO much to see and do that I feel like I still haven’t seen all of it yet. I’m also incredibly obsessed with that Chihuly chandelier in the front hallway!

    • The chandelier is incredible, right?! It makes for one of the most visually striking entrances ever! What’s your favourite part of the museum? x

  • I’ve only ever heard great things about the V&A, so on my museum day (well days, since there’s no way I’ll be able to make it through all of them in one day) I will definitely check it out. I’m really interested in the wedding dress exhibit — the ones you gave us a peek of were gorgeous.

    • You have to make it to the V&A! Not to bias you or anything, but it’s definitely my favourite! x

  • What a fabulous opportunity! I’ve been to one of the Zoo Late events, but am itching to go to some of the museum night events too!

    Owl Girl | A London lifestyle blog

  • It was fun wasn’t it!

  • I’m so jealous of your proximity to all the art and history.

  • That’s so cool that you got to wander around there at night! In Chicago they have a monthly cocktail party at the art museum, and I’ve always been tempted to go so I can drink champagne and stare at pretty art. I think the disobedient exhibit would interest me the most. How crazy is it that there’s still such a thing as banned books in our age?! It makes the idea of thoughts all the more powerful, doesn’t it?

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

    • I was lucky to go to an incredibly liberal school but comparing my curriculum to my brother’s (who went to a less-than-brilliant school in our neighborhood) showed me a world of difference. Especially because a lot of the books that are still on the banned list haven’t been even remotely “controversial” for 50 years of so! (Or so you hope!) x

  • Oohh, this reminds me of the Friday night events the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto does over the summer! Except they also have a dance floor. And tables that serve food. And bars that serve drinks. But… it’s also a museum that has exhibits open to guests at night πŸ˜›

    • Haha there were drinks and snacks but sadly no dancing. I would have loved that though! πŸ˜‰ x

  • One place that I haven’t quite made it to yet in London but it’s on the list for sure. And what a treat that you got to visit at night! I hope the wedding dresses are a permanent exhibit as I’m sure I’d really enjoy that as much as I did seeing Queen Victoria’s dress at Kensington a couple of years ago.

    • I love Victoria because everyone just thinks of her in the mourning attire, but until then she was quite the fashion trendsetter! xx

  • I love the concept of ‘night in the museum’ and I’d love to participate in one soon!

  • I utterly love the V&A. It’s my first choice for a museum outing in London. Although this post has reminded me that I haven’t been for ages. Must rectify that asap. I had no idea these three exhibits were on, so thank you for the timely post. The museum looks wonderful at night. xx

  • Love the V&A and I bet it is so much more magical at night!

  • Correct! ;D I love their fashion exhibitions as well. It’s probably what I’ve been to most frequently. x

  • I went to see the Horst exhibition a week or 2 ago and I loved it! The only disappointment was that there weren’t a few more (or better… dare I say that about a legendary photographer?) travel photographs. I know he’s a fashion photographer but I’d have liked more travel, for obvious reasons! Anyhow, I thought it was great, too, so I’m so pleased you enjoyed it! πŸ™‚ x

    • I can totally see your point! The section on his travel photographs was miniscule. The V&A seems to be on quite the fashion kick lately. But I still loved them, regardless! x

  • I love the V&A but I’ve not been in years! I might wait until the school holidays are over and give it another go!

  • What a lovely opportunity to go at night – the V&A is possibly one of my favourite museums in London (that I have visited of course)!

  • Jealous doesn’t really begin to cover it. I’m the girl who thinks about hiding out in the bathrooms when the V&A is about to close so that I can stay inside and wander the empty halls! What a fun night! The Horst exhibit is really high on the must-see list.

  • That’s so true! The V&A is my favourite of all the museums (if I’m allowed to pick a favourite, of course!) x

  • This looks amazing! I have been to the V&A twice but on both occasions I didn’t have much time to explore it properly! Next time I am in London I will make the effort to visit properly! x

    • I hope the Horst is still in town next time you get the chance to go to the V&A. As someone interested in photography, you’d love it! x

  • oh cool – late nights at museums are always especially magical! wonder if the Horst will still be up in December when we come over?

    • It stays till the beginning of January, so try to go! Obviously you’ll be busy with family commitments, etc, but it’s definitely worth a look-in if you have the chance! x