V&A Collection – Trends Report 2016

Hill Top by night, Beatrix Potter, 1913, BP.294

Hill Top by night, Beatrix Potter, 1913, BP.294

Welcome to the annual V&A Collection search trends report for 2016, providing newspaper columnists and social media pundits the opportunity to fill the Christmas period with questionable data interpretation and spurious trend spotting.

As it now seems to be obligatory to provide end of year reports on what people have spent the year searching for (on the web, not in life; assuming there is still a difference), we thought we should publish our own top 20 list of the most popular search terms on the V&A’s Search the Collections site. (Search the Archives will have to wait until next year when we have a full twelve months’ data to provide total statistical accuracy.)

  1. William Morris
  2. Art Deco
  3. Art Deco (image only search)
  4. Fashion
  5. Corset
  6. Thomas Rowlandson
  7. Shoes
  8. Dress
  9. Indian Company Paintings
  10. Beatrix Potter
  11. Mantua
  12. furniture
  13. constable
  14. Chanel
  15. Constable
  16. Fashion
  17. embroidery
  18. Kimono & 18= wallpaper
  19. art nouveau

Deep interpretation of the results is left to the reader. Many of the searches are of course for topics and collections the V&A is renowned for (including the great man himself in the top spot). But there are some curiosities in the list; for example Thomas Rowlandson tip-toeing ahead of shoes (but just behind a corset), possibly prompted by our colleagues at the Royal Collection’s exhibition earlier in the year?; the sesquicentenary celebrations marking the work of Beatrix Potter, who would have not likely been seen in a mantua dress; and the continued appeal of designers and artists from Constable to Chanel (other letters of the alphabet are also available).