Victoria & Albert Photography Section – Critical Reflection

Although situated in a rather small room on the third floor of the Victoria and Albert Museum, this photographic hall packed a great punch. I travelled to the V&A Museum with a couple of close friends, one of which is studying an Art Foundation. She was adamant in visiting a couple of museums to encourage her work ethic and flow for her given winter task “Collections”. Being the keen and upbeat photographer that I am, I hardly disagreed with this concept as I felt that this would give me an opportunity to not only view more photographs but to also see other forms of art and notice how different people may react to these specific artistic collections. We began by wondering around the Fashion section of the V&A, which was used to portray the timeline of Fashion throughout the ages and how it has developed through time by displaying key items of clothing. Whilst appreciating this collection in its entirety, I then found myself linking this collection to Fashion photography and its form of advertising. This Fashion exhibition included many copies of fashion magazines, including the likes of vogue, which also got me thinking about how the use of photography as an advertising tool actually aided the development of this, and many other industries. Whilst walking round the exhibition and seeing the evolution in which this industry had taken over the years, I couldn’t help but find myself linking this progression with that of the photographic industry through the development of technologies and creative techniques.

After completing the tour around this display, we then headed up to the third floor of the Victoria and Albert Museum where my friends and I headed off in separate directions: Them to the sculptures zone, and me to the Photography. Although I couldn’t help but feel a tad disappointed in the fact that my friends weren’t interested in my ultimate passion, I found that it actually enabled me to enjoy the small exhibition hall as an enthused individual without the form of any distractions. As this photographic hall was simply a part of the Victoria and Albert museum, and therefore not having any specific advertising, I thought I would be walking into a room of photographers that I have never heard of before. However, this was most certainly not the case. I ended up turning every corner to see incredibly famous photographers work plastered to the wall, almost as if it wasn’t important. These magnificent pieces belonged to the likes of Robert Frank, Robert Doisneau, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Adams, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Irving Penn, Alfred Stieglitz, Man Ray, and Eugene Atget, just to name a mere few.

So what is my overall perception of this fine, miniature exhibition? Well, I can’t help but describe myself as child at Christmas when I saw the work that was portrayed within this hall. Filled with excitement, as I was able to respect these pieces of work without having to link them to a given theme. They were framed and mounted in this gallery to be shown off to the world, not to prove something, not even to create debate, but simply to be appreciated. This exhibition was completely under the radar, but with the talent shown in that one small room… It is not to be missed.

Twitter: Situated in Room 100 of the V&A Museum, and completely under the radar, this exhibition hall shows pure talent. It is not to be missed.