Art Fund director Stephen Deuchar calls to save Wedgwood Collection

  • 21 February 2012

Writing in the Times and the Guardian last week, Art Fund Director Stephen Deuchar expressed dismay about the possible sale of the Wedgwood Collection and called on common sense to prevail.

Writing in the Times and the Guardian last week, Art Fund Director Stephen Deuchar expressed dismay about the possible sale of the Wedgwood Collection and called on common sense to prevail. “It is unthinkable that the collection could be broken up and sold” he wrote “and the government should not presume that the public will come to the rescue and raise the money needed to save the collection”.

A High court ruling in December 2011 declared that the Wedgwood Museum collection could be sold to help pay off the Museum Trust’s pension liabilities of £134 million. The Attorney General is currently considering whether there are grounds to appeal.

This internationally important, UNESCO-recognised collection tells and embodies the story of 250 years of British art and design, society, science and politics, as much of as the UK pottery industry itself. The collection is uniquely British, containing gems such as letters by Charles Darwin and paintings by Stubbs, alongside Josiah Wedgwood's greatest wares.

Expressions of concern are flooding in and last week Tracey Emin and 16 other Royal Academicians also wrote to The Guardian calling for the Wedgwood Collection to be secured for the nation. The Art Fund is keeping in close touch with the DCMS, the HLF and other interested parties to explore ways of keeping the collection intact and accessible to the public before it is too late.

About the museum

The winner of the 2009 Art Fund Prize, the Wedgwood Museum in Stoke-on-Trent is at the heart of the area known as The Potteries and is home to one of the most important ceramic collections in the world. The gallery tells the story of Josiah Wedgwood, his family, and the company he founded over 250 years ago. Since 2008 the Museum has been housed in a purpose-built state-of-the-art building to show off its wonderful collection to best effect.

Tags: what-we-do