Enriching the V&A: A Collection of Collections (1862-1914)

Enriching the V&A: A Collection of Collections (1862-1914)

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By 1862, just a decade after its launch as a study collection for art and design, the Victoria and Albert Museum had become a reference resource for collectors, scholars, and art-market experts. Enriching the V&A, the final volume in a trilogy of books on the museum's 19th-century history, describes how the young museum's rapid growth in the following decades was driven more by collectors, agents, and dealers, through loans, gifts, and bequests than by the combined expertise, acquisitions policies, and buying power of its directors and curators. The V&A soon became a collection of collections, embodying a new age of collecting that benefitted from the break-up of historic institutions and ancestral collections across Europe. New collectors were touched by a moral imperative to collect for the home, however humble, and to share their specialist knowledge and enthusiasm by lending to the new public museums.


 176 pages, Hardcover, February 2023.

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