The print room at the V&A

Is open most days. Level 4 above the Sackler wing.

I just kind of wandered in, one of the staff suggested it. They have thousands of photographs in the collection. You have to have something in mind because it’s a museum after all. You just arrive, sign in and then head over to the computer terminals where you are faced with this website:

http://collections.vam.ac.uk/

So what would you look for? Well in the face of such uncertainty and completely unprepared? I figured I’d go for Kertesz; he is after all my favourite photographer.

So I found a few items listed. Got the box number. Went over to the desk. The helpful curator did some more digging. “Looks like there are three boxes.” she said. “Would you like to see all of them?” Still somewhat unbelieving that such a thing was possible I said “Yes please, that would be wonderful.”

About thirty minutes later… Recognise any of these? The prints were acquired by the V&A in 1976. There is no charge for this service. You can just go in there and as long as you are polite and quiet, and see some museum-quality prints of some of the greatest photographs ever made. I’m still in shock. (The collection of course is not only photographs, in fact the photos are probably one of the smallest parts of the collection.)

I love this city.

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