A Focus on New Markets

Fine art licensing company Bridgeman Art Gallery is widening its focus to reach new markets in the industry. Bridgeman offers fine art, cultural and historical images with a wide range of subjects, concepts, styles and media in its archive of more than 8,000 collections and 29,000-plus artists.

The archive ranges from iconic masterpieces to decorative arts, political cartoons, advertising posters, children's illustration, contemporary photography and painting and historical photography.

"Many collections lend themselves well to stationery and other paper products. We work with a variety of contemporary artists that produce images on every subject imaginable, so we are a great resource. We also manage copyrights so the process is simple for clients," says Kim Tidwell, marketing executive for Bridgeman.

Tidwell said the company's focus for the coming months is to expand the markets it works in. "The bulk of our work is now with educational publishing and art publishing, but there's great potential for expanding, and we are aggressively looking to widen our focus," she says. The company is targeting television, film and production companies, as well as licensed products.

Bridgeman currently is highlighting a few specific collections. The Boltin Picture Library includes a large selection of black-and-white photography, as well as artifacts and textiles. "Some of the black-and-white photography includes quirky themes that are particularly suited to licensing," says Tidwell. Bridgeman owns full rights to the collection.

Children's illustration is another major offering at Bridgeman. The Look and Learn collection is "wonderful for illustrations of events in history, the lives of historical figures and well-known children's tales," says Tidwell. Included in the nearly 12,000 images from that British collection are works by Arthur Rackham, one of England's most celebrated book illustrators; John Tenniel, the illustrator of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; and Henri Rousseau.

Botanical prints are another featured area at Bridgeman. "One artist of particular interest is new contemporary artist Rebecca John, daughter of the Welsh painter Augustus John," says Tidwell. "Many other contemporary artists with a host of different styles from etchings to watercolor to color photography are included in our collection. Bridgeman also manages our own copyright matters and will clear copyrights for our clients."

Bridgeman recently began representing the Freer-Sacker Gallery, part of the Smithsonian Institution, one of the leading collections of Asian art in the U.S. "The beautiful Asian woodcut designs represented in this collection have themes ranging from botanical and natural designs to daily life, costume and ceremony and would be wonderful for the stationery and decorative arts segments of the market," says Tidwell.

The company's Web site had been improved to help clients navigate the massive collection. "Our Web site is more dynamic, with a faster search engine and better, more frequently updated highlights of our collections so clients see something new each time they visit," says Tidwell.

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