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Why is the Wedgwood Museum collection at risk?

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nigel benson:
Hello again,

To add to Bernard's list. Certainly the pieces from the Harrods exhibition designed by various artists are in the WW Museum.

Whether or not the pattern books for Stuart are also there, or in the Waterford buildings in Ireland is something that is problematic for glass enthusiasts as well - although these might also be considered a company asset as they are designs that could still be produced (and in some cases have been in recent years - The Luxton Collection).

I may not get this totally correct, but it will convey the general idea of what is behind the claim against the collections as an asset. It evolves around the fact that some of the people working for the Trust are former employees of Waterford Wedgwood. As such they become the people liable for the pension funds shortfall as there is deemed to be a connection between the two situations - which, in turn, makes the collections and archives an asset. The link is clear, however illogical you and I might consider it to be. The law was changed to avoid the situation that was left after the Robert Maxwell fiasco whereby the pension fund of the employees was raided for funding purchases of other companies, etc. This was a 'catch all' to encompass and protect pension funds. Unfortunately, it has done just that, and as such it is not what the law was set up to achieve. I believe this is what the judgement will determine.

Further, even if it is possible that an appeal could be launched should the judgement go the wrong way, it is the employees who are the Trustees of the musem who would have to instigate, and pay for it :o >:(

I hope that all reads correctly (I nearly wrote "makes sense" - how ironic would that be?)

Edit: I just noticed that I haven't answered your question about awareness Anne. I don't think I was suggesting that others could go down this route, since it is so specific to a particular situation. But, now that you've pointed it out I can understand your concern.

Nigel

PS. I drew this whole situation to the attention of the members of the BGF sometime ago in a round-robin email. N.

Anne:
News story about Wedgwood Museum being recognised as culturally important by UNESCO:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-13522460

chopin-liszt:
While I agree wholeheartedly about the importance of the collection - and the sneakiness and immorality of the legal situation, pensions are about people surviving - and people are more important than "stuff".

This would be an appropriate time for one of our wonderful and generous uber-wealthy philanthropists (HA!)to step in and save the day.  :grrr: >:D :grrr:

David E:

--- Quote from: Bernard C on December 19, 2010, 12:17:28 PM ---For those not aware of the immediately direct relevance of this to those interested in English glass, I'm reasonably certain that the Wedgwood Museum collection includes:

* The Stuart pattern books,
* The pattern books of Philip Pargeter, acquired by Frederick Stuart in 1881 when he took over the lease of the Red House Glassworks,
*
* Other Stuart glass, some unmarked, including some enamelled pieces, formerly on display in the Red House shop.
--- End quote ---

I can confirm the above, having visited the museum on two occasions, and another scheduled for the future. However, the Stuart archive is rather small and I suspect there's a lot of material that's not "accounted for". Having seen the Stuart glass collection at Himley Hall, just before it was bundled off to Ww, it is very extensive and deserves a museum of its own.

But if you haven't been to the Ww museum before, it's well worth a visit - whether you are a dedicated glassie or not! It certainly is a template for how Broadfield House could look like in the future...

Frank:
Any updates?

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