Works by 'father of industrial design' bought for Dorman
- Dorman Museum
- 9 April 2013
A collection of works by Christopher Dresser, one of Britain's first industrial designers, has been bought for Middlesbrough's Dorman Museum with help from the Art Fund.
Dresser worked across everything from kitchenware to wallpaper, creating affordable, well-designed products for mass consumption. He studied at the Government School of Design in South Kensington – now the Royal College of Art.
A visit to Japan in the mid-1870s had a radical impact on Dresser’s work. Visiting as a representative of the British government, he was given access to the inner workings of Japanese industry, and the focus on purity of form and function that he found there became a key influence on his work.
This collection of Dresser’s work spans his entire career, from the early high-Victorian designs to the late works, which embraced modern materials and production techniques. Many of the objects are thought to be unique, including wallpaper samples created for Salubra, and a ‘Duck’ decanter and egg boiler designed for Hukin & Heath. The Dorman Museum holds an important collection of Linthorpe Pottery, and the works in this collection help tell the Linthorpe story in the context of Dresser’s life and career.
Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, said: “We are pleased to have helped bring this incredible collection back to its birth place and into the Dorman Museum, richly illuminating Christopher Dresser’s design legacy.”