Josiah Wedgwood: Tycoon of Taste


Josiah Wedgwood: Tycoon of Taste from HENI Talks on Vimeo.

“The Steve Jobs of pottery” is how Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A, sees eighteenth century design pioneer, Josiah Wedgwood. Inventor, entrepreneur and uncompromising perfectionist, Wedgwood’s ambition changed the face of the decorative arts in Britain forever. Inspired by the latest fashion for classicism, Wedgwood created wares in his Stoke factories for both the masses and the aristocracy, whilst using his designs to support the most morally charged cause of his day – the abolition of slavery. However, it was his obsession with equalling the great icons of the classical past that led to his boldest accomplishment – the Portland Vase, which now lives in the V&A collection.

As one of the key figures behind the campaign to save the Wedgwood Collection for the nation in 2014, Tristram Hunt speaks with passion and wit about the life and legacy of the self-proclaimed ‘Vase-Maker General to the Universe’.

Cite this page as: HENI Talks, "Josiah Wedgwood: Tycoon of Taste," in Smarthistory, April 23, 2021, accessed June 24, 2021, https://smarthistory.org/josiah-wedgwood-tycoon-of-taste/.