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"The Society signals a shared desire to recognise Dresser's work and to create a resource which allows further scholarship and recognition of Dresser's oeuvre," said a spokesman. "Membership will provide access to a website, collections in museums and libraries, study tours and lectures by experts."

The launch follows the acquisition of a collection of Dresser artefacts by the Dorman Museum in Middlesbrough. The Dorman is already home to the largest collection of Linthorpe pottery in the world and it was in Middlesbrough that Dresser had dreams for an 'industrial arts complex', which was never realised.

The Dorman plans to establish the incoming collection in a permanent new gallery at the museum, under the curatorship of Dresser scholar Gill Moore. The move will be funded by a major Heritage Lottery Fund grant and funds from other bodies.

• The launch of the new society will include a two-day programme of events featuring behind-the-scenes access to the new collection, a mini exhibition at Teesside University and a visit to mima, (Middlesbough Museum of Modern Art).