I have been to this museum before and went with some hesitancy as the rooms and rooms of ceramics in old Victorian cabinets, stacked high and rather randomly, would be gone and a remodeled collection would be in its place. I loved those old rooms!
I missed seeing the Queen when she dedicated the new galleries just a couple weeks before. I was more than pleasantly surprised. I could have set up a cot and lived there a week or so to give all the rooms and rooms of work justice in my review. Alas, I only had one full day.
I am focusing on the historic as that was my research agenda, but the study collection goes to contemporary artists and there was a terrific show of contemporary British ceramic artists and one of Richard Slee’s work. Other favorites like Lucy Rie (her studio is reproduced in one of the galleries) and Hans Coper were well represented. Leach, Cardew and Hamada as well. There is a ceramics studio in the room dedicated to ceramic techniques that offers classes and there is a Visiting Artist set up working for 6 months at a time for visitors to watch.
They have a study room and you can make arrangements ahead to have work set up in a room for you to touch and research. Not all, but much of the collection is on line now so it is relatively easy to get information.
This is a must see museum for any serious study in ceramics. They have, as the Brits tend to, some of the best of everything from around the world. It is a stunning collection and it is out for all to see!