Russians Giddy Over Wedgwood Collection Loan

A piece from the Wedgwood collection at the Lady Lever Art Gallery. Collection of the National Museums Liverpool.

The Wedgwood collection from Liverpool’s Lady Lever Art Gallery has been loaned to Moscow’s All-Russian Museum of Decorative, Applied, and Folk Art, while the Liverpool museum’s galleries undergo renovation. It is the first time that the collection has traveled abroad, and it has already attracted 10,000 visitors in just one month.

The 140-piece exhibition, which has been organized as part of the British Council’s somewhat controversial UK-Russia Year of Culture, includes a rare Portland Vase and the largest jasperware panel ever made.

Sandra Penketh, Director of the Art Galleries at National Museums Liverpool told Art Daily, “It is exciting to have the opportunity to showcase our fantastic collection on an international stage and highlight the world-class quality of the objects in our gallery.”

Elena Titova, Director of the All-Russian Museum of Decorative, Applied and Folk Art added, “We are delighted to welcome this collection to the museum…Wedgwood is a manifestation of impeccable taste and artistic quality.”

The Wedgwood collection was started by the English soap entrepreneur and arts benefactor William Hesketh Lever in 1905. Lever’s soap factory would eventually become the multinational hygiene and personal care brand Unilever, which has sponsored the cultural exchange.

The collection is set to remain in Moscow until February 2015. It will be returned to Liverpool following the completion of the £2.8 million ($4.2 million) lottery-funded renovation of the Lady Lever’s galleries.

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