240 works by iconic ceramic manufacturer Wedgwood on display at The David Roche Foundation

 Media release 2023




Only at The David Roche Foundation, Adelaide


From 23 September 2023 to 27 January 2024, The David Roche Foundation will present a new exhibition titled Wedgwood: Master Potter to the Universe.

Curated by Timothy Roberts with assistance from Robert Reason, the exhibition will be opened on Friday 22 September by designer, author and media presenter, Claudia Chan Shaw.

Josiah Wedgwood famously declared in 1769 that his aim was to become ‘Vase Maker General to the Universe’ and his wares soon set fashionable Europe alight, perhaps nothing more so than his famous Portland vase of 1790.

Wedgwood: Master Potter to the Universe features 240 items including vases, busts, table wares, wall plaques, animal figurines, snuff boxes and accessories dating from the 1760s to 2023 loaned from Australian public and private collections. The exhibition represents the first major survey of Wedgwood in Australia in more than 25 years and was made possible through the generous assistance of Alan Landis, one of Australia’s leading ceramic dealers and Wedgwood expert.

Wedgwood (Britain, established 1759) Portland Vase, c.1790, blue-black jasper. Courtesy of Etruria Antiques Gallery, Melbourne. Photograph: Matthew Stanton.

Of special note are three rarely seen 1789 Sydney Cove Medallions, Daisy Makeig-Jones’ rightly famous Fairyland Lustre wares and Keith Murray’s highly collectable art deco masterpieces of the 1930s. For mid-century modern enthusiasts the exhibition includes pieces designed by Eric Ravilious and Norman Wilson as well as work made at Wedgwood by Australian studio potters Michael Dillon and John Dermer. From familiar white on blue jasper to the glittering colours of Fairyland Lustre, this exhibition promises to surprise, enchant, and delight.

Curator of the exhibition, Timothy Roberts said, ‘This exhibition joyously celebrates Wedgwood’s incredible variety. We have brought together 240 works of art that speak to defining moments in Wedgwood’s history, as well as cast a spotlight on some lesser-known stories. I think many people will find something familiar that warms their heart, but be assured this isn’t just a show of grandma’s good china. I hope that every visitor encounters something they didn’t expect to see, and leaves this show having learned something interesting.’

Wedgwood (Britain, established 1759), John Skeaping, modeller, Kangaroo, 1927, earthenware, celadon glaze. Dr John Bench Collection. Photograph: Matthew Stanton.

Robert Reason, Museum Director said, ‘I am thrilled the Foundation is presenting this significant exhibition of Wedgwood. David Roche collected some exquisite items in his lifetime and to contextualise them alongside such important examples from other collections is a great honour. The wonderful thing about Wedgwood is that nearly everyone remembers seeing a little piece of blue jasperware in the family home. They are ubiquitous and comfortable. As a point of reference that is great, the exhibition however will introduce you to a more imaginative and diverse Wedgwood, it really is inspirational, and that’s a beautiful thing.’

A special interest day with Wedgwood experts presenting talks will be held on Saturday 23 September. During the run of the exhibition, visitors will also have the opportunity to hear from Amanda Dunsmore, Senior Curator, International Decorative Arts, NGV, on their internationally significant Wedgwood collection. Studio Vino is also providing the opportunity to paint your own Wedgwood masterpiece or come along to a twilight evening viewing of the exhibition in early December.

A fully illustrated and extensive catalogue accompanies Wedgwood: Master Potter to the Universe and is available for purchase at the museum and online.

Further details can be found at www.rochefoundation.com.au.



23 September 2023 to 27 January 2024

(Closed 24 December to 8 January)

Wedgwood: Master Potter to the Universe

The David Roche Foundation House Museum

241 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide

Open: Tuesday to Saturday 10AM-4PM

Exhibition Entry: $12 Adult. $10 Concession. $9 TDRF Member $9. Children under 12 free.

No booking required.


For further information:
Neil Ward Publicity
Neil Ward 0438 095 580  neil@neilwardpublicity.com.au

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