Friday, 22 May 2009

The V & A is 'on message' again

After a decade in which museums tried to out-do eachother in fawning to a socialist social engineering agenda, is there evidence that they're rediscovering their roots?

The V & A was founded as the 'museum of manufactures' and was explicitly aimed at a working-class audience rather than high art, using applied art and science collections as an educational resource. Henry Cole introduced late night opening here in 1858 'to ascertain practically what hours are most convenient to the working classes'. The whole institution was rendolent with virtues of industry, employment, productivity, economic efficiency and innovation - and one-nation Britishness.

So to see the V & A shop featuring not only a reproduction of the 'Keep Calm and Carry On' poster shown here, but a repro 'Britain Can Make It' poster and, erm, a full size poster for Ayn Rand's 'Atlas Shrugged' suggests either someone in retail sales has a sense of humour, or the V & A is discovering its roots.

1 comment:

Blue Eyes said...

Cheers for that, I have been thinking about where to look for some new wall-space-fillers!