The Museum of Royal Worcester has been awarded an Arts Council National Lottery Project Grant to ‘unlock’ its collections through interesting and relatable histories of food and drink. In partnership with Dr Neil Buttery (a food historian, author, podcaster, and chef), the Museum will put together an engaging new dessert cabinet and Georgian dining table display with Worcester porcelain, table decorations, and modelled food, to illuminate the interesting (and often surprising) ways in which Worcester ceramics were used in formal 18th-century dining experiences. These displays will help bring the collections to life, offering insight into how food has been prepared, shared, and enjoyed over time, and will also increase understanding of Worcester’s place in the history of global exchange.

Sophie Heath, Museum Director said:

The grant will also allow the Museum to host community-focused workshops, talks and events in relation to these themes. The hands-on workshop programme, developed with Dr Buttery, will explore historical cooking and food preparation relevant to Worcester Porcelain, allowing community members to connect with the past through practical and sensory experiences. For example, workshops with schools will allow students to make pickles and junkets and explore the related porcelain in the Museum’s collection. A collaborative project with Worcester Litfest will also be developed, and food-themed paint-a-pot sessions will be offered at the Museum’s pottery studio.

The Museum is hugely grateful to Arts Council for the project grant and is excited to familiarise both existing and new audiences with the under-explored historical culinary contexts of its varied ceramic collections.

 Dr Neil Buttery, Food Historian on the project said:

I am really excited about bringing the museum’s beautiful Worcester porcelain to life, with the table setting and historical foods. Seeing how porcelain was used, and who was handling it helps to build a real picture of its importance in daily life.

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