Discovering legacies at the V&A

It’s a Wednesday evening, late September. The night is young and I find myself playing ‘spot the difference’ in the heart of the V&A’s Constable: The Making of a Master exhibition. I am with Steve Daszko, a good friend to the V&A, at the Private View. As the V&A’s Legacies Manager, it is rewarding to see Steve derive so much pleasure from the Museum – something I would like to see all people who pledge a gift in their Will to the V&A to experience.

Steve Daszko is a freelance photographer from London who has been a V&A Member for over 6 years. Steve visits the V&A as often as he can and enjoys the diversity of the collections. Sometime after becoming a V&A member, he received a Membership pack in the post and read that anyone could leave a gift in their Will to the V&A, regardless of size.

This inspired Steve – he decided to pledge a cash legacy to the Museum as he realised that the “the V&A does not just receive legacies of £2 or £3 million, but that smaller amounts are just as important and could make a real difference, especially given that the permanent collections are free for all”. Steve told me he decided to pledge an unrestricted cash legacy to the V&A because he “trust[s] the V&A to make the best use of that money”, knowing that the Museum has “so many different objects and has something of interest for everyone”.

Steve pledged his legacy in 2010, and by way of thanks, the V&A has ensured he is recognised for his generous gesture. Anyone who is happy to let us know they have pledged a legacy in their Will to the V&A can benefit from the following for the rest of their lifetime:

  • Invitations for themselves and a guest to behind-the-scenes legacy events
  • Invitations to other special Museum events
  • Complimentary copies of the V&A magazine
  • A tribute in the Annual Review once the gift is received

Tonight, the V&A has shown thanks to Steve by inviting him to the Constable: The Making of a Master opening.  Constable has always been one of Steve’s favourite artists, and aware of this, the Legacies Manager in 2010 arranged for Steve to visit the V&A prints, drawings and paintings study room to see the full-scale study for The Hay Wain.

This is just one example of how legacy pledgers can enjoy a relationship with the V&A. Steve has attended many of our legacy events, from talks on conservation to getting up close and personal with an Oscar statue at this year’s Gabrielle Enthoven legacy event!  Anyone who has pledged a legacy to the V&A, however large or small, can become as little or as much involved with the Museum as they wish – they just need to let us know. Who knows what they might discover.

To find out more about how to leave a legacy to the V&A, click here.

Susan Hughes, legacies manager at the Victoria & Albert Museum

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