The Christopher Dresser Project

In January 2013 the Dorman Museum was delighted to be awarded Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) along side Art Fund and the V& A Purchase Grant Fund support to showcase a collection of works by design pioneer Christopher Dresser.

During his lifetime Christopher Dresser was a household name. He designed for many major manufacturers and is associated locally with Linthorpe Art Pottery.

The combined funding enabled the Dorman Museum to purchase of a collection of works by Christopher Dresser including furniture, metalwork, ceramics, glass, textiles and wallpaper. Redevelopment of the existing Linthorpe Pottery gallery to display the Dresser collection and tell his story will be a permanent addition to the Dorman Museum and enhance Dr Christopher Dresser’s connection to Middlesbrough and the Linthorpe Pottery.

Dresser is revered as the ‘Father of Industrial Design’ and his connections with Middlesbrough are an important part of the town’s heritage.

Linthorpe Pottery was the idea of Christopher Dresser and the Dorman museum holds the largest public collection of Linthorpe Pottery. The Linthorpe Art Pottery collection is displayed in an adjoining gallery and recounts its story together with its connections with Dresser.

A renowned Dresser world authority, built up the collection over many years and now feels that the prestigious collection of 160 works by Christopher Dresser, together with an associated archive rightfully belongs in Middlesbrough.

By combining the existing Linthorpe Pottery collection with this Dresser material, the Museum has significantly strengthened its stature both nationally and internationally and has the potential to become a centre of excellence for the study of Dresser.

This acquisition has brought a significant private collection into the public domain and will secure it for future generations. It has also enabled the Museum to present a new permanent exhibition dedicated to this ‘Pioneer of Modern Design’ and to stage more ambitious exhibitions in future.
Over the coming years work will continue to raise Dr Christopher Dresser’s profile through exciting events and activities.

Christopher Dresser