Art Fund launches public appeal to save £15.75 million Wedgwood Collection

By Culture24 Reporter | 01 September 2014

A public appeal needs to raise £2.74 million in less than three months to save the world-renowned Wedgwood Collection

Click on the picture to launch a gallery of objects from the collection

The Wedgwood Museum’s incredible collection, charting more than 250 years of British art and history through more than 8,000 pieces, will be saved and gifted to the V&A if a last-ditch appeal to raise £2.74 million succeeds.

Philanthropic culture lovers have until November 30 to help the campaign – led by the Art Fund, which has contributed £1 million, and the Heritage Lottery Fund, which has pledged around £10 million – raise the asking price of nearly £16 million.

“In 2009 the original Wedgwood manufacturing company went bankrupt and amongst its debts was the pension liability to its current and former employees,” explained Stephen Deuchar, the Director of the Fund.

“It was decided that the Wedgwood Collection was an asset which could be sold to defray those debts.

“We’ve agreed a price of £15.75 million to acquire the whole collection and, amazingly, we have brought together nearly £13 million of that now.

“With three months to go we’ve got around £2.75 million to raise, so that’s not an impossible task.

“It is going to require a very large number of people to donate very generously. But it’s a tantalising prospect because we can save the collection if we can raise that sum by the end of November.”

The V&A’s trustees have agreed to take ownership of the UNESCO-listed collection before lending it to the Wedgwood Museum in Barlaston, which won the Museum of the Year award in 2009, when it reopens as a revamped visitor attraction in spring 2015.

The venue’s trust became liable for an estimated £134 million in pension debt in the aftermath of the manufacturing company's bankruptcy.


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