Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2017 - 49
VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM
Works of Art
The Victoria and Albert Museum is sharing its archive through licensed products.
BY ALAN DORICH
When choosing licensees, the Victoria and
Albert Museum look for companies that have
superior design and manufacturing capabilities.
The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London, was
originally established in 1852; its founding principle to
make works of art available to all, to educate and to inspire.
Today, it is one of the
world's greatest resources of art and design, with collections
unrivaled in their
scope and diversity.
institution not only
head of licensing
provides visitors with
and business development
a wealth of sights to
see, but a vast archive
to draw from for its
"It's really limitless as to what patterns
can be applied," Head of Licensing and
Business Development Lauren Sizeland
declares. Based in London, the V&A is
the world's leading museum of art and
design, with objects that reflect more
than 5,000 years of human creativity.
Inspired by the success of the Great
Exhibition of 1851, the museum was
founded as part of Prince Albert and Sir
Henry Cole's plan to transform South
Kensington into a cultural center. "It
was the world's first trade expo," Licensing Research and Development Manager Amelia Calver says, explaining that
the event was wholly unprecedented
in its format, scale, international scope,
visitor numbers and profit.
Profits from the exhibition were used
to establish the Museum of Manufactures, as the V&A was initially known,
and exhibits were purchased to form the
basis of its collections. "It was an attempt
to educate the public's taste by showing
the best of British manufactured goods,"
Calver says. "It's something that we still
try to do in our collections."
Last year, 3.9 million visitors, including enthusiasts and scholars, passed