Royal Worcester, was the longest continuous porcelain manufacturer in Britain and touched the lives of thousands of people in Worcester, from its formation in 1751. Prior to its closure in 2008, the Worcester factory exported its unique products all over the world. The Royal Worcester brand was brought to life again in 2009 under the ownership of Portmeirion Group. The Museum of Royal Worcester showcases the work of the Worcester factory and the new interpretation designed by hsd reinforces the museum’s position as a collection of national importance. The designs enliven the museum’s galleries, illustrate exciting new themes and stories and explain more about the factory workforce, industrial conditions and how porcelain was made.
Henry Sandon MBE, Museum of Royal Worcester Patron, said: “The museum possesses a great archive of the lives and work of thousands of craftsmen and it will be wonderful to display this in a modern way so that it can be brought to life and the public can appreciate the human stories behind the beautiful, decorative pieces. We are delighted the HLF has given us this support and it is great to be working with hsd to create new exhibitions. We are looking forward to welcoming new audiences to our doors.”
Hidden stories and exhibits from the archives will illustrate the skills, techniques and developments of this remarkable factory. Exerts from audio recordings of the workers will describe the camaraderie and rivalry that existed between departments and show just how many skills and pairs of hands each piece took to create.
Alan Birdsall, Project Consultant at hsd, said: “It has been a great pleasure working with such an iconic British brand. The story of Worcester Porcelain will come alive through hidden stories and exhibits featuring archive material that has never been on public view before, such as the ‘Workers Story’ memories taken from the museum’s audio archives.
“Our new gallery designs include opportunities to watch and talk to skilled craftsmen, interactive exhibits and short films. The displays will raise the Museum of Royal Worcester’s profile with the aim to attract a new, wider audience. Plans also include an innovative educational programme, community projects and a lively programme of events.”
hsd has recently completed exhibitions at the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre and displays for Magna Carta: Spirit of Justice, Power of Words at Salisbury Cathedral, UK. We’re currently working on a number of exciting international projects in the UK, Canada, the Middle East and the USA, where we recently opened two new galleries at the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum of American History in Washington DC and are now working on completing four more this summer.