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The Lee B. Anderson Memorial Lecture by Julius Bryant (Victoria and Albert Museum)

This lecture launches a new book on the Victoria and Albert Museum devoted to the Victorian and Edwardian private collectors whose generous long loans and donations proved almost overwhelming. From its origins as a national art school study collection formed to promote the reform of contemporary commercial product design, the V&A rapidly became a mirror of Britain as a nation of collectors. In the museum’s early decades its curators were far outnumbered by private lenders, donors, agents, and dealers, many with greater expertise in their specialist fields of collecting. Through the influence of fascinating but formidable personalities, from Lady Charlotte Schreiber to J. Pierpont Morgan, the V&A nearly lost its way. As a collection of collections this treasure house seemed to have strayed from its founding purpose as a resource for design reform and so attracted controversy. This lecture, and the book, explains how and why the debate continues today.

Thursday, March 2
6 pm — Reception and book signing
6:30 pm — Lecture
38 West 86th Street, Lecture Hall

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Bard Graduate Center is grateful for the generous support of the Lee B. Anderson Memorial Foundation.

Special thanks to the V&A Americas Foundation for their ongoing partnership.