V&A Wedgwood Collection

V&A Wedgwood Collection Celebrating the history and creativity of Wedgwood in the heart of the Potteries. Home of one of the finest ceramic collections in the world. Admission free.
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Winner of the Art Fund Prize in 2009 and with astounding archives recognised by UNESCO's UK Memory of the World Register. Like the V&A Wedgwood Collection to discover the latest news from our collections and programmes, and to stay up to date with special events. Share your photos with us using

Open Wednesdays-Sundays. 10am-5pm.

What do you do when your factory starts sinking into the ground? At the turn of the 20th century, the Wedgwood Factory a...
06/12/2023

What do you do when your factory starts sinking into the ground?
At the turn of the 20th century, the Wedgwood Factory at Etruria was experiencing the effects of mining subsidence (pictured) as they did not own the mineral rights for the ground beneath the factory.
What was the solution? The Wedgwood directors made the decision to relocate to Barlaston in 1940, where production continues to this day!

Have you heard of St Nicholas Day? 🎅In many parts of Northern Europe, this is a time when children are given special tre...
05/12/2023

Have you heard of St Nicholas Day? 🎅

In many parts of Northern Europe, this is a time when children are given special treats and small gifts – but only if they have been good! One tradition is to polish a pair of boots and put them outside the night before, hoping that they will be filled with sweets rather than a lump of coal.

Not many sweets would fit into this Wedgwood sock dryer, but you can find this intriguing object in our galleries.

Whilst here, why not visit our latest display of Christmas ceramics and archives in the entrance of the museum.

For today’s Explore Your Archive theme, we are celebrating hobbies! The Wedgwood family enjoyed many artistic activities...
01/12/2023

For today’s Explore Your Archive theme, we are celebrating hobbies! The Wedgwood family enjoyed many artistic activities. In particular, Godfrey Wedgwood (1833-1905), his wife Hope Elizabeth Wedgwood (1844-1935) and sister-in-law, Frances Julia Wedgwood (1833-1913) were keen watercolour painters.

Pictured here:
1. Godfrey Wedgwood
2. Godfrey’s painting of himself at Abinger
3. Frances Julia Wedgwood (known as ‘Snow’)
4-5. Various watercolours by Frances Julia Wedgwood


  9 years ago, the collection was saved following major public support in one of Art Fund's most successful campaigns to...
01/12/2023

9 years ago, the collection was saved following major public support in one of Art Fund's most successful campaigns to date! A huge thank you to all our supporters who kept one of the world's most comprehensive industrial collections in public ownership. We’re committed to making the V&A Wedgwood Collection more accessible through our creative programming, cataloguing and digitisation projects. As we near the 10-year mark, we have lots of exciting plans for the year ahead, so watch this space!

📷
1. Cataloguing for V&A Explore the Collection
2. Family activities in the galleries
3. New acquisitions and conservation work
4. People of Wedgwood community space open on site

The theme for today's Explore your Archive is "Art", so we are sharing some of the fantastic designs by Gordon Forsyth f...
30/11/2023

The theme for today's Explore your Archive is "Art", so we are sharing some of the fantastic designs by Gordon Forsyth for the Wedgwood Bicentenary Pageant in 1930. Depicted here is a young Josiah Wedgwood, Thomas Whieldon, and local "witch" - Molly Leigh!

This month marks 400 years since the publication of the first printed collection of William Shakespeare’s plays. The Fir...
29/11/2023

This month marks 400 years since the publication of the first printed collection of William Shakespeare’s plays. The First Folio was published 7 years after Shakespeare’s death, and without it we may never have known some of Shakespeare’s best-loved characters. Shakespearean literary themes and medieval subjects were popularised in the Victorian era and reflected in designs at Wedgwood, including this hand-painted plaque depicting ‘Mistress Ford’ from The Merry Wives of Windsor, designed by Thomas Allen in 1881.

For today’s   theme, we are celebrating all things big!We are currently undertaking a massive project to catalogue every...
27/11/2023

For today’s theme, we are celebrating all things big!

We are currently undertaking a massive project to catalogue every item in the V&A Wedgwood Mosley Collection. As one of our largest collections, this project would not be possible without the help of our brilliant volunteers. There are over 14,000 items that need to be catalogued, so watch this space for more updates!

Continuing the Explore your Archive Week - today's theme is "Expedition". Did you know there is a Wedgwood Peak in the C...
26/11/2023

Continuing the Explore your Archive Week - today's theme is "Expedition". Did you know there is a Wedgwood Peak in the Canadian Rockies? Named by Katherine Longstaff Wedgwood in honour of her late husband Arthur Felix Wedgwood, Katherine was also one of the first to climb it!


Photo © Edna Witni

We're taking part in Explore your Archives Week! Today's theme is "Tradition". Wedgwood has long advertised itself as be...
25/11/2023

We're taking part in Explore your Archives Week! Today's theme is "Tradition". Wedgwood has long advertised itself as being a "Living Tradition", which you can see here from the archive, showing ten of the 218 patterns available to buy in 1952. Which one would you pick?

What's more iconic than Wedgwood blue?On display this week is a new selection of objects unpacked from the V&A Wedgwood ...
24/11/2023

What's more iconic than Wedgwood blue?

On display this week is a new selection of objects unpacked from the V&A Wedgwood Collection store that showcase the many hues of blue throughout Wedgwood's history. From the famous pale blue Jasperware to underglaze blue transferware, come and see what has been unpacked!

There's still chance to book onto our second Discover Wedgwood event taking place tomorrow, 24 November. The session is ...
23/11/2023

There's still chance to book onto our second Discover Wedgwood event taking place tomorrow, 24 November. The session is another unique opportunity to get up close with unpacked objects from the V&A Wedgwood Collection store. This session will highlight the dynamic, provocative and modern shapes designed by Wedgwood since 1759. Our curatorial team have selected a series of objects and their counterpart archival drawings that demonstrate how fashion, thought, history and nature have influenced Wedgwood design.

Book via the link: https://www.worldofwedgwood.com/content/discover-wedgwood-session

Some of the Christmas magic has entered the galleries of the V&A Wedgwood Collection! Join Sarah the Snowy Owl and her f...
22/11/2023

Some of the Christmas magic has entered the galleries of the V&A Wedgwood Collection!

Join Sarah the Snowy Owl and her forest folk friends as they gather the ingredients to make their Christmas pudding.

A reminder that our second Discover Wedgwood event is next Friday, 24 November. The session is another unique opportunit...
17/11/2023

A reminder that our second Discover Wedgwood event is next Friday, 24 November. The session is another unique opportunity to get up close with unpacked objects from the V&A Wedgwood Collection store. This session will highlight the dynamic, provocative and modern shapes designed by Wedgwood since 1759. Our curatorial team have selected a series of objects and their counterpart archival drawings to demonstrate how fashion, thought, history and nature have influenced Wedgwood design. In relation to nature, we will explore how the science of 'Conchology' inspired creative shapes at Wedgwood from the 18th century, such as this drab ware shell candlestick.

In November 1955, Queen Elizabeth II visited the Barlaston Factory. This photo commemorating the occasion shows Bill Mer...
15/11/2023

In November 1955, Queen Elizabeth II visited the Barlaston Factory. This photo commemorating the occasion shows Bill Merrick explaining the process of making Wedgwood mortar. Wedgwood employees, Norman Wilson and Victor Skellern can be seen in the background, along with the Duke of Edinburgh.

Last Friday we hosted Year 9s from three local schools for the V&A Upstart Careers Festival. The University of Derby ran...
14/11/2023

Last Friday we hosted Year 9s from three local schools for the V&A Upstart Careers Festival. The University of Derby ran some excellent workshops on the theme of Wellbeing, and we heard about mindful breathing from

On Remembrance Day we commemorate all the employees from the Wedgwood Company who left to serve their country and never ...
11/11/2023

On Remembrance Day we commemorate all the employees from the Wedgwood Company who left to serve their country and never returned. 32 men were lost by the company after the First World War and a further four during the Second World War. Today we share the Wedgwood Roll of Honour from 1919.

It’s time to celebrate another find we’ve made during our unpacking project. This week, we’ve some unearthed some vibran...
10/11/2023

It’s time to celebrate another find we’ve made during our unpacking project. This week, we’ve some unearthed some vibrant Wedgwood lusterware. Our favourite is this 1958 earthenware Nautilus Shell centrepiece, which certainly stands out! To create this piece, a metallic lustre glaze is applied to an already glazed and fired surface – referred to as ‘overglaze’ decoration. Once applied and fired, it produces a lustrous and iridescent effect.

Our second Discover Wedgwood event on the 24 November will provide another unique opportunity to get up close with unpac...
08/11/2023

Our second Discover Wedgwood event on the 24 November will provide another unique opportunity to get up close with unpacked objects from the V&A Wedgwood Collection store.
This session will highlight the dynamic, provocative, unique, and modern shapes designed by Wedgwood since 1759. Our curatorial team have selected a series of objects and their counterpart archival design drawings which demonstrate how fashion, thought, history and nature have influenced Wedgwood design.
To give you a sneak peek, one object which will be examined is this black basalt and rosso antico statuette of a Sphinx, influenced by 19th century European ‘Egyptomania’.
Book now: https://www.worldofwedgwood.com/content/discover-wedgwood-session

The closest we could get to   is this patent record dating from 1886. Believe it or not, it is meant as a design for a s...
05/11/2023

The closest we could get to is this patent record dating from 1886. Believe it or not, it is meant as a design for a salad bowl! We don't have any evidence that this design ever went into production but let us know if you've ever come across it!

🌟We are recruiting! 🌟We're delighted to announce that we are recruiting for an Assistant Curator to join us at the V&A W...
03/11/2023

🌟We are recruiting! 🌟

We're delighted to announce that we are recruiting for an Assistant Curator to join us at the V&A Wedgwood Collection in Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent.

This is an exciting opportunity to develop skills in ceramics curatorship and join the team working on documentation, storage and management of the V&A Wedgwood Collection. The postholder will work on improving access to the collections, both on site and digitally, and delivering a varied public programme.

You’ll be joining the team at an exciting time as the V&A and Fiskars work in partnership to build the potential of the Barlaston site.

Closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 17 November.

Salary £23-26k per annum

To find out more and apply, follow the link: https://fiskars.wd3.myworkdayjobs.com/FiskarsGroup/job/Barlaston/Assistant-Curator_JR-5301-2

If you have any queries contact us on [email protected]

Look at this fantastic advert from the 1970s we found advertising Oven to Tableware Casserole Pots. Two of our favourite...
02/11/2023

Look at this fantastic advert from the 1970s we found advertising Oven to Tableware Casserole Pots. Two of our favourites - Sterling and Quince are on display in the galleries, but which one would you have?

Join V&A Wedgwood Collection online on Saturday 11 November at  2pm, as we take part in the national V&A Upstart creativ...
30/10/2023

Join V&A Wedgwood Collection online on Saturday 11 November at 2pm, as we take part in the national V&A Upstart creative careers festival. Hear from a panel of creative practitioners and creative wellbeing projects on how the arts can be used to support health and wellbeing, and The University of Derby on further education and careers in this field.
Book your free ticket here: https://www.worldofwedgwood.com/content/upstart-festival-online

With Autumn having well and truly arrived we wanted to show you this lovely model for a plaque from the stores. It shows...
26/10/2023

With Autumn having well and truly arrived we wanted to show you this lovely model for a plaque from the stores. It shows a little winged cherub with a scythe and a sheath of corn, personifying the season.
Are you a fan of the shorter days or not so much? Let us know in the comments!

 William Davenport (or W.D) Newby (1881-1962) began working at Wedgwood in 1908 where he held a variety of jobs such as ...
24/10/2023


William Davenport (or W.D) Newby (1881-1962) began working at Wedgwood in 1908 where he held a variety of jobs such as warehouse manager, sales manager and as a home sales representative travelling across the country with his portfolio and samples of Wedgwood ware. Newby was also chairman of the Works Committee which was a group that drew together employees from different departments and acted as a staff welfare body. He worked at Wedgwood until 1951.
Pictured here is the figure presented to Newby upon his retirement which was modelled by Eric Owen. His obituary is featured in the second image which also includes a photograph of Newby and Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester.

Let’s embrace the glorious golden hues of autumn with some Victorian gold in our galleries!1. Spill vase designed by Chr...
22/10/2023

Let’s embrace the glorious golden hues of autumn with some Victorian gold in our galleries!
1. Spill vase designed by Christopher Dresser, printed Queen’s ware, 1867
2. ‘Auro Basalt’ vase, Black Basalt with gilded and bronzed raised slip, ca. 1890
3. Vase with Celtic motifs, caneware with raised gilding, ca. 1900

This week we catalogued a selection of John Skeaping sculptures,  which were first produced in 1927. In our collection w...
20/10/2023

This week we catalogued a selection of John Skeaping sculptures, which were first produced in 1927. In our collection we have the original factory models for his designs, such as the a kangaroo, polar bear and bison pictured here. Examples of the factory models as well as Skeaping's completed design in ceramic can be found on display in our galleries.

We are delighted to announce the reopening of the Alan Wedgwood Reading Room for researchers will commence from 1 Novemb...
18/10/2023

We are delighted to announce the reopening of the Alan Wedgwood Reading Room for researchers will commence from 1 November. Access is by appointment only 10:30-12:30 & 1:30-4:30. For further details please use the following link https://www.vam.ac.uk/info/archives -wedgwood-collection-archive

Here’s some Agate Ware through the ages! This swirling ceramic imitates the decorative marbled stone of the same name, m...
17/10/2023

Here’s some Agate Ware through the ages! This swirling ceramic imitates the decorative marbled stone of the same name, made either as ‘solid agate’ by wedging coloured clays together, or as ‘surface agate’ by blending coloured slips on the body.
1. Egg-shaped vase with cover, solid agate ware, 1769
2. Cassolette vase, terracotta stoneware with surface agate decoration, 1769-1775
3. Doric jug, hand-gilded solid agate with pewter lid, 1880s
4. Bone china solid agate ‘Unique Ware’ powder bowl by Norman Wilson, 1962

Our first Discover Wedgwood session on the 27 October will provide an opportunity to get up close with unpacked objects ...
16/10/2023

Our first Discover Wedgwood session on the 27 October will provide an opportunity to get up close with unpacked objects from the V&A Wedgwood Collection store. This session will explore how different fashions have impacted Wedgwood design. One object which will be examined is this 19th century jasper dip vase with applied reliefs, influenced by the neo-classicism movement. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to view unique Wedgwood!
Book now: https://www.worldofwedgwood.com/content/discover-wedgwood-session

It’s October and the weather is very drab, so it's a good time to look at some fabulous Wedgwood Drab Ware we’ve recentl...
13/10/2023

It’s October and the weather is very drab, so it's a good time to look at some fabulous Wedgwood Drab Ware we’ve recently unpacked! This late 18th to early 19th century drab body kantharos vase is glazed and ornamented with blue applied reliefs. The embossed foliate decoration and tree branch handles signal the naturalistic design approach that Wedgwood regularly explored. Taking a closer look at the blue reliefs, this approach is further exemplified by the oak leaf borders around the vase rim, and the flowers ornamented on the two handles.

Did you see Jay Blades visiting the V&A Wedgwood Collection and  on last night's episode of The Midlands Through Time?
12/10/2023

Did you see Jay Blades visiting the V&A Wedgwood Collection and on last night's episode of The Midlands Through Time?

To commemorate  , we would like to spotlight the teaching resource developed for the live research project 'I am a Man a...
11/10/2023

To commemorate , we would like to spotlight the teaching resource developed for the live research project 'I am a Man and a Brother’. The resource provides an opportunity for students in secondary schools and colleges to explore the history of Wedgwood’s anti-slavery medallion. Setting the context for why it was made, as well as the processes required for production. Students will also be introduced to vital members of the abolitionist movement, including writer and abolitionist Olaudah Equiano, who had direct links with Josiah Wedgwood I.

Aside from absorbing this crucial history, students are provided with the opportunity to develop skills through art, curatorship, and activism, with the end goal of designing their own anti-racist piece of protest and exhibition. In addition, throughout the resource, students are encouraged to cross-examine themselves; what emotions are invoked by the medallion and its imagery?

Through this combination of information, action, and emotion it is hoped that students can help to start building anti–racist spaces in our classrooms and museums.

The resource can be found here: https://www.vam.ac.uk/info/teachers-resources-for-secondary-schools-and-colleges

It is   and this week we have this 18th century Jasperware teapot. The reliefs are based on designs by Lady Elizabeth Te...
10/10/2023

It is and this week we have this 18th century Jasperware teapot. The reliefs are based on designs by Lady Elizabeth Templetown from the 'Domestic Employment' series. Lady Templetown was one of a few female designers whose work appeared on Wedgwood pieces during this time in order to appeal to more feminine tastes.

This weekend we will be in the Tactile Project Space at All Saints Church as part of the fantastic  2023.Join us to shar...
09/10/2023

This weekend we will be in the Tactile Project Space at All Saints Church as part of the fantastic 2023.

Join us to share your stories about Wedgwood or to try your hand at sprig moulding!

10am-4pm

Do you want the opportunity to see some of our collections up close? We are running Discover Wedgwood sessions, where on...
07/10/2023

Do you want the opportunity to see some of our collections up close? We are running Discover Wedgwood sessions, where one of our curatorial team will show you some of the objects we have recently catalogued and tell you more about them. The first one, on 27 October, is on 'Perfect Patterns'.

Book now: https://www.worldofwedgwood.com/content/discover-wedgwood-session

This week we have been cataloguing many 18th century jasperware items. This has included this intricate green and purple...
06/10/2023

This week we have been cataloguing many 18th century jasperware items. This has included this intricate green and purple jasperware plate, with a variety of delicate applied reliefs and a central motif of Aurora.

We've been digging in the archives again to find some more fantastic pictures of past employees. This picture, taken ca....
05/10/2023

We've been digging in the archives again to find some more fantastic pictures of past employees. This picture, taken ca. 1940, is of a group of workers who had an incredible 459 years service to Wedgwood between them! They are top row (l-r), Arthur Mantle (Dipper), Vernon George (China Printer), Henzer Whitmore (Earthenware Printer), Ernest Bailey (Earthenware Printer), bottom row (l-r) Ellen Charlesworth (Earthenware Enameller), Clara Ann Ball (Liner), Louisa Coates (Burnisher) and Mrs Keays (Transferer).

The start of October always brings Halloween to the shops, on TV, and across social media, so today we are joining in wi...
04/10/2023

The start of October always brings Halloween to the shops, on TV, and across social media, so today we are joining in with this design for a spider web lamp base, from Wedgwood Shape Book No.4. Below it you can also see a drawing of a Keith Murray vase.

 2023 is in full swing with incredible artists exhibited across a number of venues in Stoke-on-Trent.On Saturday 14 and ...
30/09/2023

2023 is in full swing with incredible artists exhibited across a number of venues in Stoke-on-Trent.

On Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 October, we will be in the Tactile Project space at All Saints Church to talk to you about the People of Wedgwood project.

If you have a memory of Wedgwood that you would like to share, find us between 10am-4pm.

Despite only starting our unpacking project this year, we have already made some fascinating discoveries! One we’d like ...
29/09/2023

Despite only starting our unpacking project this year, we have already made some fascinating discoveries! One we’d like to share today is a C.J. Mason & Co Chimneypiece, ca. 1825 – 1837, which was packed in five parts. Made from glazed ironstone china and decorated with a transfer-printed and hand-painted pattern, the object illustrates the interpretation of Chinese and other East Asian artist traditions by the English ceramics industry. In the image is one of two top pillar blocks, ornamented with a Qilin gargoyle. It is currently on display in our temporary ‘Unpacking the V&A Wedgwood Collection’ display at the V&A Wedgwood Collection.

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Wedgwood Drive, Barlaston
Stoke-on-Trent
ST129ER

Opening Hours

Wednesday 10am - 5pm
Thursday 10am - 5pm
Friday 10am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm

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