Wednesday 31 Jan 2024, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Your ticket includes a lecture by our special guest Amanda Dunsmore, and a morning tea of petit fours and tea or Market Lane coffee, served on our Wedgwood fine bone china.

Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795) was one of the greatest innovators of the eighteenth century. A self-taught man of prodigious energy and vision, Wedgwood has been acclaimed as a champion of English Neoclassical taste as much as a pioneer potter, industrialist, founder of the abolitionist movement and marketeer. He named his factory ‘Etruria’ after the Italian region where many ancient Greek vases were believed to have been made and the factory’s Neoclassical program was explicit from the outset. During the eighteenth century Wedgwood’s success burgeoned through his development of creamware, transfer printed wares, black basalt wares and his most famous innovation, jasper ware, perfected after a total of more than 5,000 recorded experiments. 

This lecture investigates the taste for Neoclassicism in Britain that arose in the 1760s and Josiah Wedgwood’s critical role in developing and promoting it, and responds to the exhibition at The David Roche Foundation in Adelaide, Wedgwood: Master Potter to the Universe (23 Sept 2023 - 27 Jan 2024).

AMANDA DUNSMORE is Senior Curator, International Decorative Arts and Antiquities, at the National Gallery of Victoria. She has a background in Egyptology and worked for several years as a ceramic specialist in Egypt. Her research interests include eighteenth-century English architecture and interiors, in particular the work of James Wyatt, and early 20th century design and the rise of modernism. She has curated numerous exhibitions at the NGV including Bugatti: Carlo, Rembrandt, Ettore, Jean (2009), Japonisme: Japan and the Birth of Modern Art (2018) and Spectrum: An Exploration of Colour (2021-22).

This lecture is presented on-site at The Johnston Collection. Please see your ticket for details. NOTE: Tickets for this event do not include access to our exhibition-house, Fairhall. Guided tours of the current exhibition 'A Home of One's Own' can be booked separately.

This event is supported by The Colin Holden Charitable Trust and the Friends of The Johnston Collection.


Wedgwood, Staffordshire manufacturer England est. 1759. Homer vase c. 1785 designed c. 1800 manufactured stoneware (blue jasper), National Gallery of Victoria, Presented through The Art Foundation of Victoria by Mr Keith M. Deutsher, Founder Benefactor, 1993 (D14.a-c-1993). Photo: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Wedgwood, Staffordshire manufacturer England est. 1759. Portland vase, c. 1790, stoneware (blue jasper), National Gallery of Victoria, Purchased through The Art Foundation of Victoria with the assistance of The Shell Company of Australia Limited, Founder Benefactor, 1998, (1998.283). Photo: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Wedgwood, Staffordshire manufacturer England est. 1759, Covered cream vase, c. 1790, earthenware (creamware), National Gallery of Victoria. Presented through The Art Foundation of Victoria by Mrs Norma Deutsher, Governor, 1994, (D24.a-b-1994). Photo: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Wedgwood, Staffordshire manufacturer England est. 1759, John Flaxman (after), Hercules in the garden of the Hesperides, plaque c. 1785–1800, stoneware (blue jasper), National Gallery of Victoria, Purchased, 1877, (231-D1M). Photo: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne




SOLD OUT This event is currently at capacity. If you wish to be added to the waitlist, please email or call The Johnston Collection on (03) 9416 2515 and we will contact you if places become available.