Few global museums have matched the propensity of Beijing’s Palace Museum for cultural collaborations over the past five years. Imperial-flavored Oreos for the foodies, Lenovo computers etched with architectural features for the techies, and something for everyone else in a 100-product collaboration with low-cost variety store Miniso. The museum’s success has inspired cultural institutions across China to sell crossover products on e-commerce platforms, revenue that proved invaluable during a year of limited ticket sales.

Now, its spiritual sister in Taiwan, the National Palace Museum, has moved in a similar direction by signing an agreement Artistory, specialists in cultural IP licensing.

What is the National Palace Museum?

Based in Taipei, the museum’s nearly 700,000 artifacts span 8,000 years of Chinese art history from neolithic to modern, and includes the collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties.

National Palace Museum’s collection encompasses thousands of years of Chinese history, and includes objects such as (left) a pottery figure from the Tang Dynasty and (right) a Qing-era enamel vase. Images: National Palace Museum

What is Artistory?

A UK-based master licensee focused on connecting brands with major cultural institutions and leveraging relationships with e-commerce platforms. Launched in 2021, Artistory shares a founder with Alfilo Brands, licensing experts that have developed broad licensing programs in China with international museums such as the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and The Metropolitan Museum

Why it matters 

Alfilo Brands has a strong track record of developing the brand power and marketability of international cultural institutions in China. These initiatives include matching museums with Chinese brands sensitive to Millennial and Gen Z tastes, organizing pop-up shops in shopping malls across major Chinese cities, and supporting comprehensive strategies for e-commerce on platforms such as Alibaba’s Tmall and Taobao

Artistory can be expected to bring equivalent licensing strategies (in a global context) to the National Palace Museum in helping it reach a wider audience. Artistory has promised a storytelling-centered approach for delivering cultural institutions to consumers, and its established relationships both with prominent museums and brands such as L’Oréal, Twinning’s, and P&G should see it rapidly build out a portfolio of clients. The founder revealed three cultural IP agreements will be announced this year in an interview with License Global.

In Artistory’s words

“It’s an honor to announce the National Palace Museum as our first client in Asia. We’re already developing our design trends and themes for 2022 and 2023, and have selected several artifacts from the National Palace Museum collections for inclusion in those trends. The first to launch next year will accompany a big celebration.” — Yizan He, Founder, Artistory


Jing Culture & Commerce