Message from Linda Polley – Chairwoman

The Christopher Dresser Society has been in existence for a number of years but was never formally established with either a constitution, elected officers, or the means to apply for Charity Commission recognition. The purpose of the AGM was to rectify those issues so that the revived Society could develop and grow on more sound foundations and be properly accountable to its members.

The need for this was felt to have become more pressing following a successful Dresser Fest 21 event held in September in collaboration with the Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art in Denver, Colorado. That experience demonstrated the continued and increasing interest in Christopher Dresser and his work, although it also highlighted some of the limitations of the Society as it existed.

I am very pleased that we have had such a positive response to our notifications of intent and am now looking to the membership to ratify those aims. I do hope the meeting and this newsletter will provide a catalyst for your involvement in future discussion and further development of the Society.

Primarily we see the Society as a means to champion the life and work of Christopher Dresser in as many ways as possible. We will be seeking to develop relationships with a number of higher education institutions and galleries in the UK and elsewhere. We would like the Society to be at the centre of a network of sources of related information. An appreciation society, but one underpinned by rigorous and informed knowledge, and by the concerted efforts of individuals and institutions – potentially a source of reliable information.

The updating of the original membership/participant list is crucial and ongoing – we would like to see your comments, suggestions and contributions to the newsletter and/or the journal. Please contact our secretary in the first instance; he’s very good at responding.

Zoom has highlighted the fact that we are no longer limited by distance and will allow (we hope) for an active and interactive international membership. For example, perhaps behind the scenes visits could be filmed to make them more accessible to all. And, of course, guest Zoom talks that are open to the public will provide a vehicle for promotion and a way of attracting new interest and new members.

Although initially in ‘catch-up’ mode we have identified a number of short term aims:

•           We will begin to push out a backlog of articles and research papers

•           We need to start thinking now about the next Dresserfest/Symposium in 2023 (and would definitely welcome suggestions for themes)

•           We are considering setting up focus or research groups to look at different aspects of Dresser’s life and works. We have quite a few experts within the membership who could perhaps take the lead.

Please feel free to add to this list and do please get in touch.

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