Painted porcelain—decorated British ceramics 1750–1850
During the 1980s, two opportunities arose for Geelong Gallery to actively pursue the collection of ceramics, and it was these circumstances that gave an added emphasis and definition to Geelong's decorative arts collection.
In 1982, Geelong's Gordon Jackson, a keen collector and promoter of Australian ceramics, not only donated works from his personal collection but also provided funds for the purchase of Australian studio pottery. Then, with the activation of the Dorothy McAllister Bequest Fund in 1988, the Gallery was placed in a position where it was able to acquire several superb and exquisite pieces that were the foundation of the Gallery's collection of significant and highly-regarded early British porcelain.
It is this aspect of Geelong's collection that was the subject of this exhibition, Painted porcelain-decorated British ceramics 1750-1850. The display included works acquired with the support of the Dorothy McAllister Bequest Fund together with several works donated by other enthusiastic porcelain collectors. Twenty-one major porcelain manufactories were represented, many of which no longer operate. The works varied in shape and decoration, from simple blue and white teapots to highly ornately decorated and gilded plates and vases upon which painted flowers, birds, figures and landscapes abound.