During my junior year of college, I had the amazing good fortune to spend the first half of one semester in Florence and and the second half in London. We studied architecture, art history, and theater. Was I lucky or what?
At the End of the Day’, hanging, Natasha Kerr, 2007. Museum no. T.43-2008
In London I discovered the Victoria and Albert Museum. It was the first time I realized that people preserved and studied textiles like they studied the Medici Chapel in Florence or the paintings of Whistler at the Tate in London. I spent hours just hanging out there, perusing the exhibitions, "paging" through the textile files, incredulous at what anyone who walked in off the street could access. It's remained one of my favorite museums.
Bishops Court quilt, Unknown, 1690-1700. Museum no. T.201-1984
My camp friend Susie just pointed out that there's a quilt exhibition starting this month at the V&A. The web site has some great info, including a curator's blog (can you imagine having that job?) and description of the exhibition. There's even a free Amy Butler quilt pattern to download (although I'm not quite sure why they didn't pick a British quilter for this...after all, Amy's Midwest Modern, right?).
Check out the web site, and if you're lucky enough to be heading to London-town, slot a visit into your schedule.