WIS - Wedgwood International Seminar

 
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Home 2014 Wedgwood – A Capital Affair

For the 59th year, Wedgwood enthusiasts gathered for the annual international conference in late April, and as always, it did not disappoint. Held in Alexandria, Virginia, just across the river from the U.S. capital city, attendees from all over America, Canada and Australia enjoyed the wide range of activities the Wedgwood International Seminar had to offer. The word "seminar" might illicit images of an academic setting – but it's somewhat of a misnomer these days. Indeed, these conferences offer lectures from curators, professors, and other scholars, but there are equally as many presented by collectors and students of Wedgwood. And there is much more that comprises the four-day program as well, all of which makes the event appealing to a wide audience.

The 2014 agenda provided talks on subjects that ranged from the ancient Etruscan influence on Wedgwood to life at the potteries in the 18th century to Wedgwood wares at the World's Fair to lamps from oil to light bulbs, and more. Also among the highlights of the seminars are tours of public and private collections on display. This year two members opened their homes for viewing of spectacular Wedgwood. The range of wares demonstrated the wide appeal and reach of Wedgwood – from hundreds of plaques decorating walls, to curios holding thousands of jasper objects, to smalls comprised of tobacciana, mugs, and decanters to royalty wares, tiles, and magnificent planters.

This year's seminar also paid tribute to the late Lord Wedgwood who passed away early in the year and who was a supporter of the WIS and other Wedgwood-related organizations. There was sufficient time built in for visits to sites in Washington, Mount Vernon, and other museums and landmarks. Also of particular note was the fabulous and abundant food at the lunches, breaks and dinners at the host hotel.

And lastly, to satisfy that buying itch, each night four dealers offered for sale virtually every type of Wedgwood imaginable from prices that attracted the novice, as well as lured the seasoned collector.

What sets Wedgwood apart from most other collectibles and artifact categories is the vast range of wares from 18th century to current production, from highly decorative to useful, and from price points of under $5 to more than five–figures. There is truly something for everyone, regardless of one's tastes, area of interest, collecting sophistication, or budget. And the WIS caters to all these groups.

In addition to learning about and viewing Wedgwood, attendees enjoy the interaction and reunions with the friendly and inviting fellow-collectors, both old- and first-timers. The WIS extends an invitation to join its organization. In addition to access to the seminar, the annual $35 membership fee ($50 for family) covers the WIS Proceedings – an annual publication of all the lectures delivered that year.

One also may wish to explore the several regional Wedgwood societies who conduct meetings 6- 12 times per year at their local venues. See below for the links list.

Wedgwood International Seminar will be held April 22-25, 2015, at the Birmingham (Alabama) Museum of Art, which houses the largest collection of Wedgwood outside the UK. Again, check the WIS site for more information as it unfolds. This seminar is shaping up to be one of the most memorable.

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The Green Plaque Room

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Wedgwoodians United

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Wedgwood Mugs

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Wedgwood At The World's Fair

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The Blue Jasper Room

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Wedgwood Lamp

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Wedgwood For Sale