Symposium | Unpacking the V&A Wedgwood Collection

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on May 20, 2023

Unpacking the V&A Wedgwood Collection
Barlaston (Stoke-on-Trent) and London, 7–8 July 2023

Isaac Cook, curator of the first Wedgwood Museum at the Etruria factory, sorting trays of Josiah Wedgwood’s trials © Fiskars.

Join leading ceramic artists, scholars, and emerging voices for a two-day symposium exploring fresh avenues of research into Wedgwood. We look forward to conversations that expand our understanding of Wedgwood and push scholarship in new directions. This dual-site landmark conference honours Gaye Blake-Roberts MBE, former curator of the V&A Wedgwood Collection, and her contribution to ceramic research. It will take place at the V&A Wedgwood Collection in Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent (Friday) and at the V&A South Kensington, London (Saturday). A small number of bursaries for early career professionals will be available (generously funded through the Paul Mellon Centre); please send a 300-word application to wedgwood@vam.ac.uk by 5 June, outlining how attending the conference will benefit your professional development.

Book Day 1 here»

Book Day 2 here»

Please scroll down to ‘related events’ to book afternoon options and the evening dinner.

F R I D A Y ,  7  J U L Y  2 0 2 3
Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, 10.00–17.00

• Kate Turner (Acting Chief Curator, V&A Wedgwood Collection) — Welcome
• Robin Emmerson (former Head of Decorative Art Department, National Museums Liverpool) — Gaye Blake-Roberts MBE: The Story So Far

Panel 1 | Beyond Josiah Wedgwood: Re-examining the Narrative
Chair: Oliver Cox (Head of Academic Partnerships VARI, NAL and Archives)
• Iris Moon (Assistant Curator European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art) — Phantom Urn: Wedgwood’s Disability
• Nicola Scott (Curator of Decorative Art, National Museums Liverpool) — Joseph Mayer (1803–1886): Portrait of a Victorian Wedgwood Collector
• Rebecca Klarner (Assistant Curator, V&A Wedgwood Collection, PhD Researcher University of Leeds) — Who Made It? Questions of Authorship, Authorising, and Authority in Wedgwood’s 20th-Century Design and Marketing

Bookable Afternoon Options for Day 1
2.00  Randeep Atwal and Lucy Lead — Extraordinary Wedgwood Women: Celebrating the Lives of Mary Euphrasia Wedgwood and Lucie Wedgwood
2.30  Alice Walton — Impressions from a Contemporary Ceramic Maker
2.00  Kate Turner — Wedgwood’s Anti-Slavery Medallion: A Re-display at the V&A Wedgwood Collection
2.00  Isabel Clanfield — Highlights of the Museum Store: A Guided Handling Session
A Wedgwood factory tour and have-a-go pot throwing sessions are also available to book.

Panel 2 | Impressions of the Past and Contemporary Ceramic Making
Chair: Catrin Jones (Chief Curator, V&A Wedgwood Collection)
• Matt Smith (Artist and Curator) — Remaking the Museum
Clare Twomey (Artist and Researcher) — Wedgwood: Identity and Practice
• Adam Hemming (Vice President of Marketing, Fiskars) — Making Wedgwood Today

Evening at Lunar restaurant, to be booked separately
With dinner speakers Tristram Hunt (Director, Victoria and Albert Museum) and Aileen Dawson (Former Curator, 1660–1800, Britain, Europe and Prehistory, British Museum)

S A T U R D A Y ,  8  J U L Y  2 0 2 3
South Kensington, 10.00–17.30

• Antonia Boström (Director of Collections, V&A South Kensington) — Welcome

Panel 3 | Narratives of Creativity, Technology, Economics, and Labour
Chair: Caroline McCaffrey-Howarth (Lecturer in History of Art, 1650–1900, University of Edinburgh)
• Paul Greenhalgh (Director, Zaha Hadid Foundation) — Mimesis, Method, and Money: Wedgwood and His Forebears
• Claire Blakey (Curator of Modern Decorative Arts, National Museums Scotland) — Wedgwood and the Industrial Museum of Scotland
• Samantha Lukic-Scott (PhD Researcher, University of York) — Wedgwood and Pictorial Translation
• Paul Scott (Artist and Researcher) — Wedgwood’s American Transferware Patterns: New American Scenery, Archives, and Insights

Bookable Afternoon Options for Day 2
1.45  Angus Patterson — Cut Steel Dress Accessories with Jasperware Plaques: A Collaboration between Josiah Wedgwood and Matthew Boulton
2.05  Simon Spier and Florence Tyler — Wedgwood at the V&A South Kensington

Panel 4 | Global Wedgwood
Chair: Patricia Ferguson (Independent Researcher)
• Kate Smith (Associate Professor in 18th-Century History, University of Birmingham) — Clay, Labour, and Heat: Making Ceramics in a Global World
• Brigid von Preussen (Junior Research Fellow in History of Art, University of Oxford) — Model Colonies: Australian Clay, British Moulds, and the New Etruria
• Raffaella Ausenda (Professor, Freelance Historian of Italian Ceramics, Milan) — Italian Creamware ‘ad uso d’Inghilterra’ in Northern Italy and Beyond
• Rachel Gotlieb (Curator of Ceramics, Crocker Art Museum) — Viola Frey (1933–2004): Disrupting Josiah Wedgwood’s Portland Vase in Northern California

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