The Wedgwood Collection, that was under threat earlier this summer has been saved from sale through the rapid and dedicated fund raising campaign of the Arts Fund, Heritage Lottery, a number of private trusts and foundations and individual donations from the public, other interested parties including heritage societies. £2.74 million needed to be raised before the end of November but this was achieved last week as a result of a massive response to the campaign.
The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology (SPMA) in the UK were immediately active in supporting this campaign, through written submissions and via donations. This ensured that the archaeological world, including IPMAG via our own committee members who also sit on the board of SPMA, were aware of the urgency of the situation and the need for action.
The collection was under threat of sale as part of a £134 million debt but this has now been prevented. UNESCO has described the collection as 'unparalleled in its diversity and breadth". The collection comprises more than 80,000 works of art, ceramics, documents, photographs and paintings. The collection has its origins dating back to 1774 when the company founder Josiah Wedgwood began to make new styles of ceramics and pottery. The museum opened in 1906 and is located in Barlaston, Staffordshire.
The collection will now, it is reported, be gifted to the Victoria and Albert Museum but will be on permanent loan at the Wedgwood Museum in Staffordshire, its ancestral home.
See link to article in the Guardian of the weekend:
BBC news piece: