Wednesday 13 October, 6pm
Talk at Messums Wiltshire gallery and online with V&A director and author Tristram Hunt as he introduces his new book ‘The Radical Potter’.
Tristram’s new book ‘The Radical Potter’ is a biography of Josiah Wedgwood, perhaps the greatest English potter who ever lived. ‘The Steve Jobs of the eighteenth century’ as Tristram describes him.
From his kilns and workshops in Stoke-on-Trent, Wedgwood revolutionised the production of ceramics in Georgian Britain by marrying technology with design, manufacturing efficiency and retail flair. He transformed the luxury markets in Europe and America.
But Wedgwood was radical in his mind and politics as well as in his designs. He campaigned for free trade and religious toleration.Most significantly, he created the ceramic ‘Emancipation Badge’, depicting a slave in chains and inscribed ‘Am I Not a Man and a Brother?’ that became the symbol of the abolitionist movement.
Tristram Hunt is a historian, broadcast journalist and former politician who is now the director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
‘…a remarkable and impassioned book. Josiah Wedgwood innovated across boundaries of technology and art and taste, commerce and scientific enquiry, and Tristram Hunt makes the powerful case for rediscovering his humane entrepreneurial spirit. The Radical Potter brings Wedgwood’s protean energy alive for a new generation and I loved it.’ Edmund de Waal
The talk will be followed by a book signing then supper with Tristram.