The fine art collection focuses on 20th-century art production and includes notable works by JMW Turner, the Scottish Colourists, Walter Sickert and Duncan Grant. With Stoke’s history of ceramic production the contemporary collection is characterised by works that explore the processes and history of ceramic design, challenging traditional divisions between ceramics, fine art and textiles. Notable artists represented include Grayson Perry, Mona Hatoum, Anya Gallaccio and Nina Saunders.
Stoke is most famous for its collection of over 5,000 pieces of ceramics charting the development of the pottery industry. The museum also holds the Bergen Collection of studio pottery, the Pinchen Collection and the Lindridge Collection of post-war studio pottery. The Potteries hosts a number of temporary exhibitions throughout the year to complement the regularly changing displays of the permanent collection.
The 1980s building has the feel of a hotel lobby with carpeted flooring, low lighting and a series of corridors. However, the collection is brilliant, with displays charting changes in fashion and means of design production. Also held at the gallery is the Biennial of Contemporary British Ceramics — a must for anyone interested in ceramic design from professionals to enthusiasts and those ready for conversion.