A CAMPAIGN to bring the story of 19th Century design genius Christopher Dresser into popular Middlesbrough culture is being launched at Dorman Museum.

And members of the Linthorpe WI are lending a hand by giving the pieces a good clean up before they go on display.

The WI has been cleaning – in some cases – more than 100 years of dirt from the Dresser collection having undertaken specialist training from an expert.

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The exhibition, featuring hundreds of pieces, will be the focal point of a wider campaign to encourage residents to recognise the designer’s contribution both locally and the world.

Margaret Stephenson, from the Linthorpe WI, said: “The pieces are beautiful works of art and marvels of design – he was truly ahead of his time and it is fascinating to learn more about his life and ideas.”

Although Dresser was born in Glasgow in 1834, his family originated from North Yorkshire. After working and travelling across the globe he opened Linthorpe Art Pottery in Middlesbrough in 1879.

Gill Moore, Dorman Museum curator, said: “Christopher Dresser is a hugely important figure in the history of design and remains a massive influence for modern designers.

“The fact that he chose Middlesbrough to set up an art complex should be celebrated by the town.

“The exhibition will throw a real light on his life and work and will be the centre-piece of a number of projects to raise Dresser’s profile in the minds of local people.”

The exhibition opens to the public on Friday, July 4.