Past Events

Pots with Attitude: British Satire on Ceramics, 1759–1820

Public Lecture Course

  • 5 November 2020
  • This is the first lecture in a five-part series, titled Ceramics in Britain, 1750 to Now.

    This lecture is now available.
  • Online

Patricia Ferguson, Project Curator at the British Museum offers an examination of a uniquely British innovation – cream-coloured earthenware transfer-printed with political propaganda, attacks on the clergy, or the latest royal scandal, that swiftly broadcast current events throughout the United Kingdom and overseas. Mostly made in Staffordshire but printed elsewhere, these designs openly reproduced the graphic satires of London’s leading caricaturists on to mugs, jugs, and plates, which were sold at a fraction of the price of the originals, disseminating their controversial messages to all levels of society.

While the story of ceramics is a global one, Britain has played a leading role in the last three centuries, a period in which British invention has shaped developments and brought constant renewal to the industry. Ceramics in Britain, 1750 to Now, delivered by experts in the field, will explore five key influential developments in the history of British ceramics since the mid-eighteenth century, examining the multiple ways in which innovators, entrepreneurs, and artists have reinvigorated the field.

This lecture is now available.