I managed to pop along to the new V&A Furniture Gallery at the weekend and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is a fan of furniture design – there are some lovely things on show – I wanted to set up home!
The Dr Susan Weber Gallery, which opened recently in December 2012, “presents the Museum’s outstanding collection of British and international furniture from the 15th century to the present day.”
Frank Lloyd Wright Chair
Gerald Summers Armchair
Maybe I am a complete geek but I found the information on the touch-screen terminals next to each selection of pieces really educational – they explained who the designer was, when the piece was made, what materials particular pieces of furniture were from and the techniques used to construct them. I devoured this information!
Marcel Breuer Club Armchair Model B3
Ray and Charles Eames DAW Chair
Some techniques involved painstaking detail, such as Boulle Marquetry – combining turtle-shell and metal to create beautifully intricate pieces of furniture. Others involved the use of ever-evolving technology to create pieces such as the xxxx coffee table laser… I also learnt about the wonderfully named ‘Japanning’ technique- “the 17th Century European imitation of Asian laquerwork”.
Carlo Mollino Arabesque Table
Platform Fractal Table II
Marcel Breuer Armchair
JH Belter Sofa
The bit that really got me going though was being able to see some of my favourite ‘design classics’ – some that I had not been seen in person before; fabulous pieces such the Eileen Grey armchair , the Eames storage unit, the Ron Arad Bookworm (my next interiors purchase for my house), and the Tomoko Azuro ‘table=chest’. I just loved the way that the table=chest was arranged -flipped over at diagonal angles – it had such personality, and in fact *whisper*, I think I even preferred it to how it was supposed to look!
Ray and Charles Eames Storage Unit
Eileen Gray Armchair
Ron Arad Bookworm
Tomoko Azumi Table=Chest
My other half and I left determined that we were going to cut a chair out of a single piece of plywood and then layer them to ether to make our very own version of the xxxx chair and with me romanticising about the art of furniture making and being able to make all of the furniture in our house.
The best thing about the V&A Furniture Gallery though is that it is free; so get along and check it out!
The Victoria and Albert Museum
London SW7 2RL