Reading list - important donors, collectors and dealers associated with the Victoria and Albert Museum
Since its establishment in 1852, the Victoria and Albert Museum (or South Kensington Museum as it was named between 1857 and 1899) has been the fortunate beneficiary of many substantial gifts and bequests.
'Foundation' collections such as the Sheepshanks and Ionides Collections of paintings, the Dyce and Forster Collections of printed books and manuscripts, the Salting and Schreiber Collections of ceramics, the Gheradini and Gigli-Campana Collections of sculpture and the Jones Collection of Continental decorative art, established from the outset the Museum's pre-eminence as a repository for the applied and decorative arts and inspired later gifts of similar munificence.
Useful secondary printed sources that deal with the subject of the formation of the V&A’s collections:
Baker, Malcolm, and Brenda Richardson, eds. A Grand Design: the art of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: V&A Publications with the Baltimore Museum of Art, 1997
Burton, Anthony. Vision and Accident: the story of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: V&A Publications, 1999
Cocks, Anna Somers. The Victoria and Albert Museum: the making of the collection. Leicester: Winward, 1980
Davies, Helen. ‘John Charles Robinson’s work at the South Kensington Museum, Part 1. The creation of the collection of Italian Renaissance objects at the Museum of Ornamental Art and the South Kensington Museum, 1853-62.’ Journal of the History of Collections 10, no.2 (1998): 169-88
Davies, Helen. ‘John Charles Robinson’s work at the South Kensington Museum, Part 2. From 1863 to 1867: consolidation and conflict.’ Journal of the History of Collections 11, no.1 (1999): 95-115
Gere, Charlotte, and Carolyn Sargentson, eds. ‘The Making of the South Kensington Museum: Curators, dealers and collectors at home and abroad.’ Journal of the History of Collections 14, no.1 (2002)
Copies of these works are held in the V&A Archive and the National Art Library (NAL). To locate material in the National Art Library, please search the Library Catalogue.
A record of bequests and gifts from individuals and institutions up to 1900 is in List of the bequests and donations to the South Kensington Museum, now called The Victoria and Albert Museum: completed, to 31st December 1900. London: HMSO, 1901.