Photography by Kathy McGuinness Designs
Finding the Real Queen Charlotte
Smithsonian Associates Evening Program on Zoom
Thursday, July 22, 2021 - 6:30 pm ET
The enormously popular Netflix series “Bridgerton” has brought Britain’s Queen Charlotte into the limelight. It can be easy to oversimplify representations of her, especially with so much attention on court controversies and the impact of the illness of her husband, King George III, on the royal family. How accurate are the show’s portrayals of this long-reigning queen consort?
Princess Charlotte (detail),
by Johann Georg Ziesenis, ca. 1761
Tudor scholar Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger explores the many ways in which Charlotte made a difference in her subjects’ lives during her 57 years on the throne and her influence on social life, the arts, and politics during the reign of George III and the Regency. Gain an appreciation of her legacy, her focus on charitable work, and how her interest in music brought an 8-year-old Mozart to the English court. Charlotte’s lengthy and complicated relationship with her husband is also examined, from their marriage just hours after they met, through a happy and productive 25-year partnership, and finally into an increasingly distant and strained experience as George’s health deteriorated and their son took over as prince regent.
Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger is former manager of visitor education at the Folger Shakespeare Library.
Wedgwood is redefining luxury homeware. Image credit: Wedgwood
By SARAH RAMIREZ
British home and lifestyle brand Wedgwood is inviting consumers to an eclectic tea party in an effort centering individualism and curiosity.
"The Home of Daring Curiosity" campaign brings viewers to an English manor where they learn "how to Wedgwood." The short film livens up the brand and appeals to a younger audience at a time when more affluents are investing in home furnishings and homeware.
"Differentiation in luxury is driven by brand desire; product is secondary," said Chris Ramey, CEO of Home Trust International, Palm Beach, Florida. "This campaign demonstrates Wedgwood is far more than blue bone china.
"The whimsical video juxtaposes the formerly formal brand against a hip and colorful estate," he said. "This is how luxury marketers create brand desire in a category seldom considered."
How to Wedgwood
The film opens with a brief and lively montage before a vintage-style camera bulb flashes to break the fourth wall. Then, the camera opens to an extravagant sitting room where a group of friends is playing cards.
"Georgia, darling, would you explain Wedgwood to our guests?" a male narrator, as the shot focuses on a young woman.
"I'd love to, but before you understand Wedgwood, you'll need to know how to Wedgwood," Georgia replies directly to the camera.
Wedgwood shares its rules for life
She guides the camera to the kitchen. As she retrieves a boiling tea kettle, Georgia reveals the first rule: indulge.
"One mustn't deprive themselves of the finer things in life," Georgia explains, as she is seen pouring a colorful cup of tea. The friends surround the dining room table, which is covered with fine china, fruit, biscuits and more.
The second Wedgwood rule: create.
"Life's too short to be black-and-white, so when in doubt, add a little color to it," Georgia says to the audience. She follows her own advice, pouring a bright yellow paint onto a drop cloth for an undisclosed art project.
The third rule: be yourself.
Georgia encourages the audience to be bold, not bland; curious, not coy and daring, not dull. Other models pose for the camera, and in one scene, Georgian effortlessly appears to pull the tablecloth from underneath the set dishes.
Finally, the fourth and "most important" rule: entertain.
The guest are a little eccentric at the Wedgwood tea party. Image credit: Wedgwood
From a sock puppet show to a shot of Georgia prepared to rock behind a drum set, it is clear Wedgwood finds entertaining to be a seriously playful matter. Georgia further encourages viewers to entertain others, dressing up or dressing down and simply live in the moment.
Reuniting, the group poses for a picture outside, with the models holding Wedgwood teacups and vases.
After another flash of the camera bulb, they all joyously jump into the pool fully dressed. Adding to the whimsy of the vignette, the models wave to the camera as they pretend to drink tea in the pool and underwater.
Luxury home furnishings are having a moment, especially online, as COVID-19 has forced affluent consumers to spend long periods of time at home and cut back on other experiential spending.
The market for online home decor, which reached $98.4 billion in 2020, is likely to balloon to $348.3 billion by 2027, according to forecasts released last year in the Online Home Decor: Global Market Trajectory & Analytics report (see story).
As the category grows, maximalism is also becoming a predominant trend after years of minimalism.
In a series of vignettes, online vintage furniture service Chairish highlighted its wide array of chic, unique and colorful products the brand hopes consumers will not be able to live without. The unique spots present consumers with disparate product photos alongside narration that highlights the versatility of Chairish in the form of a poem (see story).
Italian fashion house Versace also recently shared a glimpse of its glamorous world filled with art and fashion in a new furniture campaign. The film followed an eccentric group of Versace-clad models through their luxurious lives living in an extravagant Roman home (see story).
For its part, Wedgwood is leveraging this campaign as an opportunity to present itself in a more youthful light to stand out from other luxury brands in the space.
"Objects or services that are acquired infrequently will thrive only if they adopt a luxury business model," Mr. Ramey said. "This starts with a marketing-first philosophy.
"The campaign challenges what we thought we knew about formality and informality, as well as Wedgwood and fine bone china," he said.
© 2021 Napean LLC. All rights reserved. Presented here with permission.
Wedgwood International Seminar presents ZOOM lecture series
The Wedgwood Society of Washington DC is pleased to share this information about the WIS Zoom Lecture Series.
Each lecture will be recorded and will be posted on the WIS Website and the WIS Facebook Page.
The following is the schedule for The WIS Zoom Lecture Series:
PLEASE NOTE: Each of these meetings is free of charge and is open to the public.
June 18, 2021 Catrin Jones, Chief Curator at World of Wedgwood. “Wedgwood's Networks: a British Story,
a Global Trade”
Please note that each meeting will be on Fridays at 2:30pm U.S.A Eastern Standard Time.
The format for each meeting will allow members to socialize (if they sign in early) while the host is letting members into each session. After the conclusion of each 45-60-minute talk, participants will be able to ask questions. Disseminating cutting edge information about Wedgwood has always been one of the main purposes of The Wedgwood International Seminar. In the future, after the seminar can resume, the WIS hopes to have several Zoom lectures each year to augment the educational function of the WIS. We hope that many of you across the world will decide to become a member of The Wedgwood International Seminar so that you will join us when we are again able to hold our in-person meetings. We may not be able to gather in person for a while, but we are able to carry on the tradition in a 21st Century way. We think that Josiah would not only approve but would appreciate the innovative way we will be carrying on.
A visit to Burslem in search of Wedgwood's
First Factory- Ivy House Works
Working our way through streaming TV we uncovered a hidden Wedgwood gem. Time Team is a British TV show that originally aired on Channel 4. With help from experts and archaeologists host Tony Robinson has 3 days to discover historical artifacts at sites all around Britain. Season 6, episode 1, currently offered as “Classic Time Team” investigates the possible site of Wedgwood’s first factory. Originally broadcast in January 1999 this episode can be
seen on Amazon Prime.
Images from the episode courtesy of Channel 4 and VideoText Communications Ltd.
Special commemorative vase created by Wedgwood
and decorated by Victor Ambrus, resident illustrator
Time Team Host Tony Robinson (far left) examines pottery shards with experts.
Archeologists uncover a Victorian tile floor in their search for
Wedgwood's Ivy House Works in Burslem in this Time Team episode