Meet Geoff and Kerrie Ford, the couple who gathered the pottery collection and established the Museum.
In 1978 Geoff and Kerrie Ford left Sydney on a working trip around Australia, without a thought of collecting early Australian pottery.
However, while working in his trade as a carpenter, on a property near Gundagai, Geoff and Kerrie attended a nearby clearing sale where in a box of bits and pieces they found a ginger beer bottle impressed near the base: 'T. FIELD POTTER SYDNEY JAN. 1849'. The bottle was 130 years old in mint condition. An hour later with a $5.00 winning bid, this was the piece that started their collection and research.
Over the next four decades the Fords self-published 13 books on 19th and early 20th century Australian pottery. They designed, built and toured two short-term travelling exhibitions that were hosted by 20+ museums and galleries in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, over a 6 year period.
On 26 January 1995, they opened the National Museum of Australian Pottery in a large purpose-built room on the side of their home in Wodonga. The Museum was relocated to its present site in Holbrook in 2006.
For their services to the arts, particularly the study of early Australian pottery, Geoff and Kerrie were both honoured with the award of the Order of Australia Medal. They are also both Fellows of the Australian Institute of History and Art.
Geoff is an approved valuer of Australian pottery for the Australian Government Cultural Gifts Program and is an approved movable cultural heritage expert examiner for the Australian Government Office for the Arts
The National Museum of Australian Pottery is the only Museum dedicated to 19th and early 20th century Australian pottery and is the culmination of many years of collecting and research throughout Australia.