Approximately 100,000 drawings made in Europe and the USA can be seen in the V&A's collection. The work of many schools, styles and periods is represented. Many have been collected specifically with an eye to why they were made; the collection is therefore unusually rich in academic drawings, designs for illustration, and in particular preparatory drawings used in the production of paintings, sculpture, architecture and the applied arts.
The Prints collections consist of about 500,000 objects encompassing both fine art and commercial production. They include prints from the Renaissance to the present day, printed designs for the decorative arts, topographical and portrait prints, caricatures and greeting cards, and ephemera and commercial graphics. They also contain the national collections of posters and of wallpapers.
Art Fund Museum of the Year (2016)