English Classic Wedgwood Celebrates its 250th Anniversary
"He was the greatest man who ever, in any age or country, applied himself to the
important work of uniting art with industry."
-- Prime Minister William Gladstone on Josiah Wedgwood, 1863
In 2009, Wedgwood will celebrate its 250th anniversary. Wedgwood's remarkable story
spans two and a half centuries of discovery, vision, experimentation, industry and
exquisite design. From its humble British beginnings to iconic global status, Wedgwood
has a rich English classic history.
2009 will also commemorate Wedgwood's glorious history: The magnificent efforts of
our intrepid founder Josiah Wedgwood; our illustrious, sometimes royal patrons; the
array of designers we have collaborated with; and the craftsmen who still hand press
wafer-thin slivers of bas-relief at our home in Stoke-on-Trent. To mark the anniversary
Wedgwood has planned a year of exciting events and activities across the globe.
In America, one of Josiah's earliest overseas markets, Wedgwood USA will celebrate
this milestone anniversary kicking off with national television exposure via a special
segment launch on the Martha Stewart Show featuring the Wedgwood factory reaching
6 million viewers per week. Wedgwood will also be featuring a series of special events
designed to touch every Wedgwood consumer including a 250th Anniversary exhibition
titled: 250 Years of Wedgwood Innovation & Artistry at the DAR (Daughters of the
American Revolution) Museum in Washington, DC displaying keynote Prestige items
from celebrities and private collectors spanning from 1759 to the present day. To
celebrate the occasion, there will be a special "Gift between Nations" presentation of an
exclusive prestige Wedgwood piece by the British Ambassador to a United States
In celebration of the genius of Josiah Wedgwood and 250 years of design innovation
and excellence, Wedgwood USA will host a Wedgwood Design Competition for the next
generation of home designers focusing on candidates from top American design schools
to conceptualize and design a tabletop collection that is relevant for today's consumer
with the opportunity for the winning design to be launched in the USA.
Wedgwood will also be decorating the famous Lincoln Center Holiday Tree with
exclusive Wedgwood ornaments celebrating two milestones: Wedgwood 250 years of
Classic Design and Lincoln Center's 50th anniversary celebrating America's largest
performing arts center. This exciting celebration of music and dance is one of New York
City's favorite holiday traditions, celebrating the rich cultural and artistic diversity found at
American's premier performing arts center. For the tenth consecutive year, the event
will be broadcast live on WABC-TV, Channel 7, with Good Morning America's Sam
Champion and WABC-TV's Sade Baderinwa as the evening's co-hosts.
And paying homage to the long history of Wedgwood, a unique 250th Anniversary Book
- At Home with Wedgwood: Art of the Table - by author Tricia Foley will be published
featuring nearly 200 pages of lifestyle images of the company's exemplary fashion and
innovation over the past 250 years.
Lord Wedgwood will also be touring the world with his own exclusively designed
Distinguished House of Wedgwood collection featuring 25 new unprecedented Prestige
pieces celebrating the best of Wedgwood's classic style from the last two and a half
centuries. Visitors to the events will also be able to have their own purchases signed by
Lord Wedgwood for the occasion.
Josiah Wedgwood was an inventor, philanthropist, pioneer and humanitarian - a man
who endeavored to change the world. For two and a half centuries the company has
grown under Josiah Wedgwood's enduring philosophy. Wedgwood now employs more
than 2000 people, distributes to 90 countries in the UK, North America, Western Europe
and Japan, all the while holding strong their reputation as purveyors of luxury goods.
A new Wedgwood Museum will be the grand summation of Josiah's brand of vision -
here at last is a fitting home for Wedgwood's extraordinary archive. The 30,000 square
foot building has been built at Wedgwood's headquarters in Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent
and its timely completion will play a vital part in Wedgwood's 250th anniversary.
As home to Wedgwood's extensive archive, many of the exhibits will be going on display
for the first time in many years. The new galleries will exhibit 6,000 pottery artifacts,
75,000 manuscripts, 680 extraordinary pattern books along with the results of 10,000
trials conducted by Josiah, all meticulously recorded in the name of ceramic innovation.
This Year of Wedgwood will be a wonderful one and we would love to invite you to join
us in celebrating it.
For further details on the 250th Anniversary of Wedgwood please visit
Wedgwood is a subsidiary of Dublin, Ireland-based Waterford Wedgwood plc. With
annual sales of nearly $1 billion, Waterford Wedgwood plc is the world's largest tabletop,
gift, crystal, silver and ceramics company. In addition to Wedgwood the Waterford
Wedgwood plc family of premium lifestyle brands includes Waterford, Rosenthal and
Royal Doulton, Johnson Brothers, Minton, Royal Albert, W-C Designs and exclusive
design partnerships with the world's leading designer and lifestyle brands including
Versace, Jasper Conran, Vera Wang, Barbara Barry, John Rocha, Marc Jacobs, Robert
Mondavi, Emeril and Gordon Ramsay.