posters and ads, fads and fashions,
toys and games. Evocative and inspiring,
it’s a kaleidoscope of images and
Featuring over 12,000 original items from the unique Robert Opie Collection, discover how well-loved brands evolved through their creative use of packaging and advertising - and how we evolved with them.
The history of consumer culture is revealed decade by decade in our ‘time tunnel’, from the naive charm of the Victorian era to the sophistication of today.
The Museum’s current site in Colville Mews, Notting Hill represents the second phase in the Museum’s evolution. With increasing visitor numbers each year and more events and education services, the Museum continues to thrive. We present the collection of consumer historian Robert Opie, assembled over half a century.
1963: First item in collection is acquired – a packet of Munchies from a vending machine in Inverness.
1975: First exhibition, The Pack Age: A Century of Wrapping It Up opens at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.
1984-2001: The Museum of Packaging and Advertising is open to the public in Gloucester.
1999: Opie’s Museum of Memories opens on Wigan Pier.
2002: The Museum becomes a registered charity (no 1093536).
2005: The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising opens in London with the help of pi Global.
Fifty years ago, Robert Opie saw the need to unravel the fascinating story of how consumer products and promotion had evolved since Victorian times. By 1975 Robert had enough material to hold his own exhibition, The Pack Age, at the Victoria & Albert Museum. After a sixteen year career in market research, he opened the first museum devoted to the history of packaging and advertising in Gloucester in 1984.
Although the focus of Robert's research has been the history of supermarket brands, his other interests extend to all other aspects of our consumer story: toys and games, travel and transport, leisure and entertainment, magazines and newspapers, technology and fashion, as well as the evidence of historic events like wars, major exhibitions and royal occasions. All this gives a wider context to the everyday history of marketing trends.
You can take your pick as to whether Robert Opie is a consumer historian or a supermarket archaeologist, but after writing some twenty books and appearing on endless television and radio shows, he has become a leading authority on his subject. Perhaps less well known is his passion for the history of ancilinary subjects, from entertainment and transport to toys and communication.
Their vision: The objectives of the charity are to educate the public on design and in particular to the subjects of advertising and packaging and their history by establishing and maintaining a museum to be open to the public for displaying exhibitions.
The purposes of the charity are:
To advance education in the subject areas relevant to the Museum
To increase access to learning experiences for wider audiences
To maintain and preserve the heritage represented by this Museum
The current main objectives of the charity are to:
Advance the enjoyment and understanding of commercial art, design, and social and consumer history to as wide an audience as possible
Offer high quality learning experiences to a range of existing and new audiences
Increase opportunities to access the collection through raised awareness
Enhance the breadth of understanding of the Museum through integration with creative industries
Develop community ties through learning and volunteering programmes
Preserve objects and specialist knowledge for future generations to experience
1) How is the museum of brands different from other “conventional” museums such as the British Museum, V&A, etc?
2) Museums always contribute to a form of institutionalized rationalization of the past. How does the Museum of Brands fit into this notion?
3) One of the museum’s objectives is to advance the enjoyment and understanding of commercial art, design, and social and consumer history to as wide an audience as possible. What impact would this have on the way audiences interpret commercial products and marketing techniques?
4) In what ways can capitalism be linked to the Museum of Brands?