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National treasures: Van Gogh Museum’s Marijn Veraart on 2020

The Museum’s licensing manager on how the artist’s work has continued to inspire UK licensees throughout the year.

The museum, heritage and institutions sector has endured its own challenges throughout this year’s lockdowns – including venue closures, key exhibitions put on hold and social distancing measures to incorporate.

All of this means the importance of licensed products is higher than ever.

LicensingSource.net catches up with some key names in the sector to find out their views on the year to date.

Today: Marijn Veraart, licensing manager, Van Gogh Museum.

“The UK is a key market for us and we have been growing the licensing programme with Licensing Link Europe [which handles the UK and Ireland licensing for the museum] over the last 12 months.

This year it has signed a number of licensees including Blueprint Collections (which has secured some great retail partners in the UK and Europe including John Lewis), Danilo, Floral Street Fragrances, Bespoke 77 and AC Jade. The Collective has also continued production development with ranges launching with Asos.

The museum itself had to shut its doors in March, once mass gatherings were restricted in Holland. In addition, our live event partners had to close down including the Experience that was located on London’s South Bank.

Despite the limitations, we can still continue to inspire people from a distance with the work and life of Van Gogh through our online channels. Even now that people can travel less easily, we keep in touch with millions of online followers. On social media, the Van Gogh Museum is the world’s most engaging art museum.

The museum re-opened in July, but we’ve reduced the numbers to 2,000 visitors per day, ensuring social distancing rules can be implemented.

Our goals over the next few months are to secure retail listings with our partners, a focus on digital, particularly in the apparel space, plus we have a drinks partner which we are excited about for next year.”

This feature originally appeared in the autumn 2020 edition of Licensing Source Book. To read the full publication, click on this link.

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