The Daily Pic

03.23.12

The World's Greatest Museum

The Daily Pic (London edition): The "Syon Cope" at the Victoria and Albert is proof of the institution's perfection.
The Syon Cope from the Victoria and Albert Museum
Courtesy the Victoria and Albert Museum

This clerical vestment, embroidered in about 1300 in England, is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum.  (Click on the image to see it in close-up.) For me, this textile is the perfect medieval object, a kind of container for all our fantasies of chivalry and knighthood and uncomplicated pomp. It is also material proof of the greatness of the V&A – one of 2,500,000 such proofs, since it’s the incredible expanse of the collection, as much as each object in it, that makes the V&A my favorite museum in the world. One floor of stunning glass; another of ceramics; a third of metalwork: The V&A is the ultimate demonstration of the scope and quality of human creativity.

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