Looking back at key moments in Wedgwood’s design history, this book celebrates the manufacturer’s visual power and great design from its founding in 1759 to the present day.
The name Wedgwood has come to stand for something far beyond its illustrious and energetic founder: it has united art and industry; introduced design and artistic collaborations; and pioneered the development ofthe firm’s iconic blue-and-white jasperware. This book tells that story through design, reflecting the continuing role that Wedgwood and its designers, artists, and employees have played in setting trends—including collaborations with many British artists and designers such as Christopher Dresser, Eric Ravilious, and Keith Murray. Wedgwood continuously responds to the market and produces high-quality, desirable ceramicsfor a broad range of consumers, yet remains faithful to the traditions established by Josiah Wedgwood in the eighteenth century.
The book presents highlights from the internationally renowned V&A Wedgwood Collection, praised by the Art Fund—one of the UK’s leading art organizations—as “one of the most important industrial archives,” containing around 80,000 objects. This archive reflects the unique proposition of Wedgwood’s business: by operating in both the “ornamental” and “useful” markets, Wedgwood has been able to bring innovative ceramic design to a broad and increasingly international clientele. These ceramics and their stories demonstrate the artistic heritage, craft, and innovation that have become synonymous with the Wedgwood name for more than 250 years.
Wedgwood monomaniacs and dabblers alike will delight in Wedgwood: Craft & Design… This little book is a worthy treasury of the pottery pioneered by Josiah Wedgwood, that 'prince of the pits & pots,' whose cool colors and serene designs still captivate today.
— The New Criterion
Catrin Jones is a curator specializing in historic and contemporary applied arts. She joined the V&A in 2020 as Chief Curator, V&A Wedgwood Collection.
Tristram Hunt is the Director of the V&A and former Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent, where the Wedgwood factory is located.