Gifts Today magazine

V&A pick up a Penguin across the Thames

The V&A has announced an important partnerships with two respected publishers, Penguin Random House Children’s UK, and Thames & Hudson, to develop and expand its publishing activity.

Penguin Random House Children’s UK, will draw on their publishing expertise to create a bespoke children’s range in partnership with the V&A, marrying their imaginative storytelling, design and packaging skills with treasures from the rich V&A archive. From baby gifts to craft and activity and storybooks for older readers, the dynamic publishing range will engage children with art and design, playing to the values of the V&A.

Renowned art publisher Thames & Hudson will work with the museum on titles for adults, exploring the V&A’s unrivalled art and design collections. High-quality co-branded monographs and books for makers will be created by distinguished designers, illustrators, photographers, artists and authors – including leading curatorial experts from the V&A.

V&A Publishing, which has built a reputation for beautiful, innovative and popular books on art and design on subjects as diverse as fashion and textiles, design and the decorative arts, theatre, pattern, craft and fine art, will now focus predominantly on producing exhibition-related and specialist academic titles. Alexander McQueen (2015, edited by Claire Wilcox) sold more than 80,000 copies during the run of the exhibition. This book, and other record-breaking successes such as David Bowie is, ensured that V&A Publishing achieved its most successful year in 2014/15, returning £1.5m to the Museum in profit.

The co-published titles will launch in autumn 2016, with full ranges available from spring 2017.

Alex Stitt, the director of Commercial and Digital Development at the V&A said: “The V&A enjoys a global reputation for the high quality of its publications, in both trade and academic markets. For the last six months we have been reviewing our strategy with a view to developing our publishing to fit our mission – to make our rich and inspiring collections of art and design as accessible as possible to our different audiences. After a rigorous and extensive process, we are delighted to announce our partnership with such globally recognised and highly regarded publishers as Thames & Hudson and Penguin Random House. Both companies share our values and standards, and we look forward to creating consistently high-quality titles that draw on the V&A’s extraordinary collections and knowledge of the designed world.”

Francesca Dow, the managing director of Penguin Random House Children’s UK, said: “I am hugely excited to be working with the V&A, one of the most creative and respected cultural institutions in the world, which is very engaged in reaching and inspiring consumers in new imaginative ways. We have huge ambitions for the partnership, and I look forward to working alongside the V&A to share our collective expertise in great design, editorial passion and creative energy to create an exciting and highly desirable publishing range that will appeal to children of all ages.”

Rolf Grisebach, the CEO of Thames & Hudson, said: “We are looking forward to working together with the V&A on an expanded publishing programme. The V&A and Thames & Hudson are active in many complementary areas including fashion and textile, design, photography, the decorative arts and fine arts, and have the same values for high quality in all aspects of their respective areas as well as a global perspective and reach. Together we can inspire not just those people who visit the museum but importantly those around the world who want to learn more about the V&A collections and exhibitions.”

Check out the V&A website here.

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