IPR Licensing has been named the exclusive UK licensing agency for the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex.
The UK is a key priority market in Europe for the Smithsonian and IPR Licensing will aim to build and manage this new programme and draw upon Smithsonian’s valued brand and vast collections.
With its 19 museums, including the National Air and Space Museum, national Museum of American History, National Museum of Natural History and Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, there are over 150 million artifacts and historical collections for licensing partners to draw from.
The Smithsonian already has firm links to the UK, having been founded in 1846 with funds bequeathed from the Englishman James Smithson (1765 - 1829) to the United States to establish an institution dedicated to the “increase and diffusion of knowledge…”
Today the Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex. It most recently announced its curatorial partnership with the Victoria & Albert Museum and for the first time in its history will have an exhibition gallery outside of the USA within the new V&A outpost at The Olympic Park in London. It will open in 2023.
“We are excited to bring the Smithsonian to the UK through compelling products and services,” said Carol LeBlanc, senior vice president, Smithsonian Enterprises.
“Together with IPR Licensing, we look forward to developing a comprehensive licensing programme that celebrates and showcases the Smithsonian, its museums and our vast collections.”
Categories being eyed for licensing development include apparel, footwear and fashion accessories, home interiors and textiles, home fragrances and toiletries, bags and travel, gifts and more.
Toys, games and puzzles as well as apps, digital and electronic accessories are also being scouted.
Judith le Fleming, co-founding partner of IPR Licensing stated: “We are delighted to be representing the Smithsonian, an iconic institution and thrilled to be working closely with the team at Smithsonian Enterprises.
“The diverse museum collections include a wealth of creative material to inspire licensing partners to bring to the UK market unique and desirable products. We are excited to be bringing the Smithsonian experience to UK consumers through great product.”