Talking pots at Tenby Museum
Dr Kathy Talbot with the wine jug used by Augustus John
Dr Kathy Talbot, Honorary Curator at Tenby Museum and Art Gallery, recently gave a fascinating talk on pottery at the museum entitled Going Potty.
The talk was a look at several items in the museum’s collection as well as items from her personal collection. Dr Talbot gave an interesting insight into the history of some of the items, particularly the Peruvian pots bequeathed to the museum in the 1920s by Lt Col. Francis Lambton J.P. of Brownslade, Castlemartin.
One recent acquisition to the museum was a teapot and sugar basin, originally from the Imperial Hotel, Tenby. Dr Talbot described how apparently everyday objects such as these could tell whole stories about the people who may have used it in Tenby in the 1950s and concentrated on how these items spoke to us and the stories about the past that they could tell.
One of the earliest items from the collection used in the talk was a Bronze Age burial urn, unearthed from the foot of the Preselis. Dr Talbot asked the audience to look carefully at the object and imagine the hands that must have shaped and smoothed the pot, which had then lasted for centuries. Although many of the items were too fragile, there was the opportunity for the audience to handle many of the pots and jugs and to consider how and when they were made and this handling and different way of looking at items helped to bring the pottery to life. She pointed out how a small souvenir cup marked A gift from Tenby was in fact made in Germany and talked about the wine jug that was owned by Augustus John and still bore a daub of red paint. The talk was followed by a question and answer session.