his project was the creation of a retail outlet and products to accompany the temporary exhibition which marked Jack Vettriano’s 21 years as a professional artist. The project started in 2011 and culminated in the display of 101 paintings, all from private lenders, that opened in September 2013. This was the first occasion that Vettriano’s work has been exhibited in a significant public gallery and the first retrospective of his career. One of the main objectives in planning the exhibition was for it to be commercially successful. Retail sales and tickets sales were the way that this was to be achieved.
Vettriano’s work has famously been embraced by the public, but rejected by art critics and the arts establishment. However, it had been demonstrated by high street outlets that there was a strong market for Vettriano products such as calendars, cards and posters. A strong relationship with the Vettriano team throughout the project also aided the development of new product licenses that were bespoke to the Kelvingrove exhibition. It was agreed that a souvenir catalogue would be printed by the Vettriano team on condition that 300 copies would be pre-purchased by Kelvingrove’s retail team. Finally, a new limited edition print of Vettriano’s most recent painting, ‘For my Lover’, was commissioned specifically for Kelvingrove.
The exhibition received very high visitor numbers (over 100,000) many of whom were first time visitors to Kelvingrove, including a much larger audience from outside of Scotland than usually experienced. The popularity of the exhibition was also reflected in the extraordinary retail sales. Turnover was the highest level of retail sales for any temporary exhibition ever undertaken by Glasgow Museums.
One of the most effective ideas was to take additional retail space within the exhibition. Although the exhibition itself was crowded, an additional space for limited edition prints was incorporated into the exhibition design so that they could be showcased to best effect. These were the highest priced items in the retail offer and proved to be a very successful line.
As well as the success of the exhibition, there were other benefits to the museum as the catering outlets showed a marked increase in revenue throughout the exhibition, rising by 44% – attributable to the increased footfall generated by the exhibition.Back to top