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Claire Blakey

Claire Blakey
Claire Blakey
Curator, Modern Decorative Arts
Collection responsibility: European ceramics, glass, precious and base metalwork from circa 1800 to 1945.
Research interests: Staffordshire ceramics, especially Minton & Co.; British pottery made for export; printing on pottery; the Renaissance revival in Britain and Italy.

Claire Blakey is Curator, Modern Decorative Arts

Claire Blakey’s specialism is ceramics, particularly Staffordshire ceramics of the 19th and early 20th century. Her research interests include the Minton pottery factory, the Renaissance revival in Britain and Italy, British pottery made for export, and the collection and display of pottery making and related techniques.

Claire joined National Museums Scotland in 2020. Prior to this, she was project curator for the redevelopment of the Burrell Collection, Glasgow, where she was responsible for the British and European decorative arts collections. She researched and developed new displays and galleries for the museum, including working in collaboration with community groups.

Before moving to Scotland, Claire spent nearly a decade working in curatorial roles at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent. Her projects there included researching and cataloguing the collections of Italian Renaissance maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware), East Asian ceramics and decorative arts as well as the collection of Staffordshire ceramics. She curated a variety of exhibitions, including 'Ceramic Cities: dialogues in design', on the shared ceramic histories of Jingdezhen and Stoke-on-Trent, ‘Ahead of the Curve: new china from China’ and 'Ceramic Empire: The trade in Staffordshire pottery'.

Claire has a BA in History from the University of Nottingham and an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester.


Blakey, C. and King, R. (2021) 'Prints and Post-Palissian Ceramics', in Ferguson, P. (ed) Pots, Prints and Politics: Ceramics with an agenda, from the 14th to the 20th century, London: The British Museum, pp. 51-66.

Blakey, C. (2020) ‘The Renaissance Reimagined: Minton, Majolica and Maiolica’, in Weber, S. (ed) Majolica Mania: Transatlantic pottery in England and the United States, 1850-1915, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, vol. II, pp. 125-141.

Blakey, C., King, R. and Zöschg, M. (2019) ‘Tabernacles, howsynges and other things: Three Alabasters from the Burrell Collection in Context’, in Murat, Z. (ed) English Alabaster Sculptures in Context, Woodbridge: Boydell Press, pp. 173-193.

Blakey, C. (2017) ‘Bringing China to Stoke-on-Trent’, Orientations, July-August.

Blakey, C. (2015) ‘Jingdezhen: town of year-round thunder and lightning’, Northern Ceramic Society Journal, 31, pp. 109-130.

Blakey, C. (2013) ‘Collecting the World’ in 101 Ceramic Highlights, Stoke-on-Trent: The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, pp. 11-15

Blakey, C. (2010) ‘A cultural homecoming? Restitution demands from the Italian Ministry of Culture to two American museums’, Museological Review, University of Leicester, 14, pp. 1-15.

For further publications see the National Museums Scotland Research Repository.

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Blog posts by Claire Blakey

Read Claire Blakey's posts on a tea set made to champion women's suffrage, and the design legacies of The Great Exhibition.

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