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The Christopher Dresser Project

The Dorman Museum is delighted to announce that it has been awarded £214,464 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to showcase a collection of works by design pioneer Christopher Dresser.

Further funding has come from the Art Fund, the V& A Purchase Grant Fund and Middlesbrough & Teesside Philanthropic Foundation.

During his lifetime Christopher Dresser was a household name. He designed for many major manufacturers and is associated locally with Linthorpe Art Pottery.

The combined funding will enable:

    • The purchase of a collection of works by Christopher Dresser including furniture, metalwork, ceramics, glass, textiles and wallpaper.
    • The re-development of the existing Linthorpe Pottery gallery to display the Dresser collection and tell his story.

3 items designed by dresser

Dresser is revered as the ‘Father of Industrial Design’ and his connections with Middlesbrough are an important part of the town’s heritage.
Over the coming months work will start to redesign the gallery and museum staff will be raising Dresser’s profile through exciting events and activities.


The Dorman Museum, part of Middlesbrough Council’s Museums Service, stands on the edge of historic Linthorpe village – home of the famous art pottery of the same name.

Linthorpe Pottery was the idea of Christopher Dresser and the Dorman museum holds the largest public collection of Linthorpe Pottery, displayed in a gallery that recounts its story and its connections with Dresser.

The Museum now with the help of funding has purchased a very prestigious collection of 160 works by Christopher Dresser, together with an associated archive. A renowned Dresser world authority, has built up the collection over many years and now feels that it rightfully belongs in Middlesbrough.Crows-foot-decanter-Hukin-Heath

By combining the existing Linthorpe Pottery collection with this Dresser material, the Museum has significantly strengthened its stature both nationally and internationally and has the potential to become a centre of excellence for the study of Dresser.

This acquisition has brought a significant private collection into the public domain and secure it for future generations. It has also enabled the Museum to present a new permanent exhibition dedicated to this ‘Pioneer of Modern Design’ and to stage more ambitious exhibitions in future.

Christopher Dresser

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