The V&A’s Museum Of Childhood honoured by Duchess of Cambridge’s unannounced visit to collection
Staff were stunned when the Duchess of Cambridge made an unannounced visit to the Museum of Childhood, last week. It came a day after Kate made a very public official appearance, accompanying The Queen and Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall, to tea at the Queen’s grocers, Fortnum & Mason.
It was reported on celebs.gather.com that “an aide for Kate says, “She wanted to have a look at the museum and the services it offers.” The museum was nothing more than a personal visit for Kate. Her aide explained, “It’s an interest of hers and there’s no suggestion or plans, to take it on as another patronage.”
Welcoming over 400,000 visitors through its doors every year, the V&A Museum of Childhood in London’s Bethnal Green houses the Victoria and Albert Museum’s collection of childhood-related objects and artefacts, spanning the 1600s to the present day. The collection includes toys – including dolls, dolls’ houses, puppets and teddy bears – games, childcare, clothing, furniture and art and photography. In addition, the Museum runs a dynamic programme of temporary exhibitions and displays, a wide variety of activities, events and workshops for adults and families, outreach projects in hospitals and the local community, and an award-winning programme for schools. The Museum aims to encourage everyone to explore the themes of childhood past and present, and to develop an appreciation of creative design through our inspirational collections and varied public programme.
Kate Middleton visited Magic worlds which ended on Sunday 4 March. The exhibition states;” Magicians were and are held in high regard, some as popular entertainers and some as higher beings. From the Indian rope trick to Darren Brown’s modern take on illusion, adults and children alike have always been in awe of magic and its practitioners”. Magic Worlds explores the world of fairy tales and fantasy literature, the history and origins of magic and how themes of magic have influenced many artists and writers. The exhibition takes the visitor on a journey into miniature magical worlds, complete with witches, wizards, fairies and magical creatures. Objects on display include costumes, tricks and illusions, film merchandise, optical toys, paintings and ceramics, otherworldly dolls and puppets and illustrated books, together with interactive hands-on activities.
She also visited a contemporary art exhibition titled; “The Value Of The Paw”, A display bringing together a selection of work by the contemporary British sculptor Cathie Pilkington. Inspired by the Museum’s collections, the artist borrowed and stole ideas and memories from many of the toys on display to assist her own three dimensional cast of strange creatures and well-known characters from popular fairy tales. Works featured include Little Red Riding Hood, The Wonderful Story of the Tar Baby (both 2011) and Singerie (2004).
The Duchess’s next public engagement will be in Leicester on Thursday with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, as part of the Diamond Jubilee tour of Britain.