Enriching the V&A

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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.