V&A Instrument galleries

  • Participant
    Mike Parker on #150878

    Dear all, I am sorry to contact you in this way, but well.. I feel the need to do something.

    The Victoria and Albert Museum has taken the decision to ‘decant’ the instrument collection, so as to increase its ‘Pop Fashion’ display. The instruments will be removed and placed in permanent store, except the odd one used as pretty much a prop in other galleries. *IF* funding can be arranged, some of the instruments will be taken by the Horniman, but even so, very few will be on display, and I consider this negation of the instruments as a very sad thing, and the loss of a major resource, as an international collection is mothballed and lost.. individual instruments will be available to view by appointment, but that is not the issue…

    Please, if you have a moment and share my concerns, send an email to Mark Jones c/o vanda@vam.ac.uk to register your views.

    There is also a facebook petition sking for a stay of execution whilst a new home for the instruments be found at


    Thank you for your time in reading this


    carl-swanson on #150879

    It’s unfortunate when this happens, but the fact of the matter is, all museums have limited space and must make the best use of it. I suspect that in most museums the musical instrument collection is one of the least visited. Maybe there is a way of dealing with this that will make everyone happy.

    At the Smithsonian Institution(the nations official attic), there are dozens if not hundreds of warehouses out in the suburbs of Washington to house collections that will never be put on display on the Mall. They include antique farm equipment, antique airplanes, factory equipment, etc.) One of these warehouses is filled with all sorts of musical instruments and can be seen by appointment. They are kept there in a way that one can easily access them, and in the case of the many church organs there, actually play them. Maybe the V & A can do something like that.

    As far as the harps are concerned, they ought to be displayed in period rooms or with period furniture or paintings throughout the museum. That would keep them on display, would make them seen by vastly more people, and force the museum to keep them in good condition.

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