On our recent weekend in Brighton, Mr D and I visited the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery. We sort of bumped into it, as it is located in one of the buildings in the gardens of the Royal Pavilion. It was a lovely surprise and what we found inside was an even better one. From beautiful paintings to exquisite outfits and lovely homewares from the last couple of centuries, combined with historical exhibits about the city of Brighton, makes this small museum a real gem. I took a few photos of the items that caught my eye and imagination.
I wouldn’t mind having these panels, bed and light fixture in my bedroom.
Chinoiserie, which in French means something like ‘Chinese-esque’, was very popular in Europe, particularly in the 19th Century (like the examples above) and consists of art and decorative objects inspired by Chinese art.
These smiling cats look so happy, they made me smile too!
A very colourful 1970’s tea set. I really wouldn’t mind bringing it home with me.
A child’s Jubilee celebration dress, made of flags. How pretty is that?
On the Brighton themed rooms, Mods and Rockers could not be forgotten, of course. If you don’t know what I am talking about, check out the film Quadrophenia and you will see.
The dedicated ceramics room had some very interesting specimens indeed. I found it most intriguing why that Virgin Mary on the left has the name written in Portuguese. Nossa Senhora do Bom Despacho – Our Lady of the Good Dispatch, which would be the Virgin Mary making sure prayers were heard by God – she would help “dispatch” them to the Lord quicker, if you asked for her interference. Interesting.
Also interesting and located in another area of the exhibition, was the chamber pot, decorated with the effigy of Napoleon with the latin word ‘Pereat’ which means ‘May he Perish’ painted next to it. Talk about a smear campaign!
The room dedicated to performance art was great and of course, all the sequins and glitters made me go all wide eyed.
What a beautiful 1940’s red dress. I’d wear it in a heartbeat. Wouldn’t you?
How fantastical is this lacy number by Alexander McQueen? Seeing clothes like this, especially in person, convince me that garments can be a lot more than just protection against the elements, they are Art.
Anything ballerina inspired is a winner in my book. I don’t remember who made this one but it’s really beautiful.
1960’s Ossie Clark mellow yellow.
The simple elegance of an Azzedine Alaia black dress. Only when you strip down a dress to the basics can you really appreciate the beauty of structure and construction.
I also enjoy a little bit of excess, particularly Asian inspired rich fabrics like these.
A part of the exhibition featured some clothes worn by locals who are members of several different scenes. I refuse to call them urban tribes as the term makes me cringe. There, I had to say it. I particularly liked the goth items on display.
Beautiful inspiration in the shape of paintings. Who needs fashion magazines when you can go to the museum?
And last but not least, the sexiest piece I’ve seen in a museum lately – capes, masks, mules decorated with bows, ooh lala!
There is plenty more to see as well as a nice cafeteria serving light meals and a good selection of cakes and teas. I definitely recommend spending a couple of hours at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery.