The Art Fund are currently running an appeal to save the Wedgwood Collection from being separated and sold off. They have until the 30 November to raise the £15.75 m needed to ensure that one of the most significant industrial archives, consisting of over 80,000 objects and spanning over 250 years of history, remains intact.
‘One of the most complete ceramic manufacturing archives in existence. Unparalleled in its diversity and breadth, [embracing] every imaginable subject from pots to people, transport to trade, society and social conditions.’ UNESCO
Housed at the Wedgwood Museum in Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, the collection is a major asset of the Wedgwood Museum Trust, which inherited £134m of pension debt in 2009. The debt was transferred to the Trust as a result of the UK Subsidiary of the Waterford Wedgwood Plc going into administration. The Wedgwood Museum Trust and Waterford Wedgwood Plc were linked through a shared pension fund and the Pension Protection Fund, though absorbing the liability, has a duty to claw back as much as it can from the sale of assets to compensate individual pensioners. As a result the Wedgwood Collection has come under threat of being broken up unless the Art Fund can raise the £15.75m in time. Launched at the beginning of September the Art Fund’s public appeal seeks to raise the final £2.74 m needed of the £15.75m, and the support so far has been fantastic. Last week they announced that that in just under a month they have already raised £2.3m of the £2.74 appeal target – leaving just under £450,000 still needing to be raised.
If the Art Fund are successful in saving the Wedgwood Collection they will then gift it to the V&A, we will own it in perpetuity, but will assign it on long-term loan to the Wedgwood Museum at Barlaston, which will lie at the heart of a major new visitor experience as part of Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton’s (WWRD) £34m redevelopment of the site – set for completion in spring 2015.
Phone: call 0844 415 4100
SMS: text WEDGWOOD to 70800 and donate £10