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Wedgwood Collection

250 years of history
80,000 objects
1 chance to keep it together

250 years of history • 80,000 objects • 1 chance to keep it together

Loan of Wedgwood Collection to Barlaston finalised

2 December 2014
The Art Fund’s purchase of the Wedgwood Collection, its gift to the V&A, and its loan from the V&A to Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton were all confirmed in back to back transactions on 1 December 2014, ensuring the collection will remain on display at the Wedgwood Museum in Barlaston.
Teapot from the Wedgwood Collection © Art Fund. Photo: Phil Sayer

Teapot from the Wedgwood Collection

The Wedgwood Collection, one of the world's most important industrial archives and a unique record of 250 years of British ceramics and social history, was saved from being sold off on the open market earlier this year following an Art Fund-led fundraising campaign.

Our campaign to raise £15.75m for the purchase began in 2013, with an appeal for the final £2.74m launched on 1 September 2014: this met its target within just a month. Close to 7,500 individuals made donations, which and were matched pound-for-pound by a private charitable foundation.

Following the success of the fundraising campaign, the V&A has taken guardianship of the collection to ensure it can never be put at risk again. The transfer of ownership marks the completion of a five-year campaign to save the Collection, after it was placed under threat following the collapse of Waterford Wedgwood in 2009. The collection has been gifted to the V&A by the Art Fund, and the final paperwork has been signed to lend the collection back to the Wedgwood Museum in perpetuity.

The Wedgwood Museum will reopen in spring 2015 as part of the World of Wedgwood, a new attraction displaying the history, heritage and craftsmanship of the Wedgwood brand.

Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, said: 'It is a cause for great celebration that, only three months after the Art Fund initially launched the public appeal to save the Wedgwood Collection, our plans have been realised in full. 

'We're delighted that the V&A has now taken official ownership of this incomparably important archive of British art and history, safeguarding it in perpetuity and ensuring that visitors to the museum at Barlaston may enjoy it for years to come as part of the new World of Wedgwood development.'

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