Ars Graphica London visit to V&A 15 March 2018

On a beautiful Spring day members of Ars Graphica London met in the entrance of the new Exhibition Road Entrance of the V&A and headed up to the Prints and Drawings Study Room to look at recent acquisitions of prints with Gill Saunders, Head of Prints.

Specialising in twentieth-century and contemporary prints, Gill selected a variety of works that reflect the breadth of the collection housed at the V&A, which includes greetings cards, playing cards, wallpaper and posters as well as fine art prints. The selection of works that we viewed on March 15 by a range of artists including Paul Jacoulet, Tadek Beutlich, Tom Hammick as well as pop art wrapping paper printed by children’s toy manufacturer Polypops in the 1960s.

Gill’s talk also guided us around the challenges faced by museums today when of acquiring works. One of the main challenges a collection faces is how to acquire works with limited budget. Gill discussed the various ways that she has been able to build the collection, from gifts and bequests following liaising with artists or collectors and in some cases gifts made out of the blue. Each acquisition needs to fit in the museum’s remit for acquiring works. The Polypops wrapping paper expands on cardboard toys by the manufacturer already housed in the department of the museum. Similarly, examples of Tadek Beutlich’s textiles are housed in the Fashion Textile and Furniture department.

The beautiful selection of works that Ars Graphica London viewed on the 15 March is only a small percentage of the varied and rich collection housed at the V&A, which is open to the public Tuesdays to Fridays from 10.00-17.00.

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