From the late eighteenth century when Josiah Wedgwood utilized the designs of artists like John Flaxman and Lady Elizabeth Templetown for many of his jasperware designs, the Wedgwood company has established a firm tradition of employing the best and the brightest. In 1964, the firm continued this tradition by inviting a young potter named David Puxley to serve as its first studio potter in residence. David was given a spot at the factory and access to all materials and personnel—and then he was just told to create! While many of his designs went into production, others were sold at special exhibitions and through private channels.
The BMA’s Buten Wedgwood Collection includes more than 150 objects made by David Puxley during his tenure at the factory—the largest assemblage of Puxley’s work in the world. Drawn from the permanent collection, the exhibition will explore the notion of “studio pottery” during the second half of the twentieth century and will highlight Puxley’s creative work and his role in establishing a studio pottery tradition at Wedgwood.
David Puxley: Wedgwood’s First Studio Potter is organized in conjunction with the Wedgwood International Seminar, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary at the Birmingham Museum of Art in April.
David Puxley: Wedgwood’s First Studio Potter is sponsored by the Jefferson County Commission. Additional support provided by the City of Birmingham and grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.