Staffordshire potter and entrepreneur Josiah Wedgwood (1730 – 95) was a pioneering tastemaker, marketeer and social campaigner. In 1759, Josiah founded his ceramics company which achieved global success and remains in production today. Designs and wares saved by the factory and Wedgwood family grew into one of the most important industrial collections in the world. Comprising over 175,000 works of art, ceramics, manuscripts and photographs, the V&A Wedgwood Collection documents production up to the present day, showcasing innovations in taste and fashion spanning over 260 years.

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From Josiah Wedgwood’s Portland Vase, to designs by Eric Ravilious and Daisy Makeig-Jones, the collection and UNESCO-recognised archives showcase the commercial and design history of Wedgwood ceramics. Following a successful fundraising campaign spearheaded by Art Fund the V&A Wedgwood Collection was gifted to the V&A in 2014.


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Detail: 'First edition' copy of the Portland vase, factory of Josiah Wedgwood, 1790, Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent, England. Museum no. WE-8000-2014. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London