Memorial: Henry Cole at V&A
Henry Cole Wing V&A
April 2018: Freshly regilded and looking splendid – but with a new metal walkway cutting across it. The designers’ website even includes a photo showing the botch. Didn’t they notice, or do they just not care?
And another problem: this inscription must be original to the building (1856-84), but we are puzzled why it is off-centre, and the discolouration of the stonework is suspicious. Is it possible that the renovation involved widening this pier by about a foot? Seems very odd but that's the only explanation we can think of.
Site: War damage at V&A & Sackler Courtyard (2 memorials)
SW7, Exhibition Road, Victoria & Albert Museum
On this section of the V&A's Exhibition Road frontage a stone screen wall was erected by Aston Webb in 1909 to mask the original boiler house yard beyond. Starting in about 1991 there were various attempts to develop the disused boiler house site to provide more exhibition space and a courtyard with an entrance through this screen.
The work was finally done and opened to the public in 2017. A stone on the east side of the courtyard reads "Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge opened this Exhibition Road Gallery courtyard and entrance hall, 29 June 2017." And a shiny steel plaque on the south side reads "The Sackler Courtyard - Constructed in 2017 with a gift from: The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation, Ilene Sackler Lefcourt, Kathe A. Sacker MD, Samantha Sackler Hunt, Mortimer D. A. Sackler, Marissa T. Sackler, Sophia Sackler Dalrymple, Michael D. Sacker." We learnt at the Standard that those are the 7 children of Mortimer and Theresa, and also that the source of their wealth seems to be tied up with America’s opioid crisis.
2019: Diamond Geezer pointed out how extensive has been the Sackler penetration of London's cultural scene.
2022: The Evening Standard reported that Tate is beginning to distance itself from Sackler: "Tate Modern has removed a plaque bearing the Sackler name due to concerns over the billionaire family’s link to the opioid crisis in the US. The Sackler Octagon at the Tate Britain in London is also set to be renamed. The Sunday Times reported that a plaque marking the Sackler Escalator at Tate Modern was removed last week, and a sign by its Sackler lifts will be taken down." One wonders when the V&A will rename their Sackler items.
March 2022: ArtNet reported "The British Museum Drops the Sackler Name From Its Galleries, Joining a Growing Flood of Institutions Cutting Ties With the Family. ... In London, the National Gallery has the Sackler Room, and the Victoria & Albert Museum has the Sackler Courtyard. The V&A has been steadfast in its continued support of the Sacklers, but a National Gallery spokesperson told the New York Times on Friday that sponsorships and philanthropic support “are constantly under review.”"
The text about the war damage is on the pier to the right of the arched entrance to the courtyard. The "Henry Cole Wing" is on the north side of the courtyard.