Research is a fundamental function for the museum that allows better knowledge of the collections and the building and serves to promote them to the wider community.
The museum has developed various lines of research:
Set projects about the museum’s reserve collections shown in exhibitions and associated publications.
For example, a study was carried out on the Laiu-bosch ceramic collection from Alorca, sponsored by the Ministerio de Cultura (Ministry of Culture) in 2009. The study resulted in the production of a catalogue and an exhibition of the pieces. There has been special emphasis on previously lesser studied aspects in this form of tableware, such as the mark that the kiln nails leave (chronological and attribution indices), the study of the moulds and drawings, etc.
Also studied have been Valencian textile designs of the 15th and 16th century, from the Hispanic Society of New York. The designs were compared with designs of the same period in ceramics, but also rugs, leathers, wood etc. and their expression in oil paintings.
One of the main objectives of the museum is to develop understanding of the building in which it is based, El Palacio de Marqués de Dos Aguas (Palace of the Marquis of Dos Aguas), originally owned by the Rabasas de Perellós family. The history of the palace, of the different alterations to the building and those that carried them out, the iconography of the pictorial decoration and the genealogy of the marquis of the palace, etc. have all been studied. The results of this research can be found in the following publications: 50 años (1954 - 2004); El Museo Nacional de Cerámica en el Palacio de Dos Aguas. Claves de su restauración; El Patrimonio artístico e histórico de los Rabassa de Perellós y el Palacio de Dos Aguas.
A knowledge of ethnography, history and archaeology is key to providing quality information and maintaining a prominent position as a centre of reference for studying Spanish pottery. With this in mind, the Museum has organised and taken part in numerous research programmes, as well as organising lectures, symposia, conferences and training seminars, releasing its results in publications and specialist scientific forums. The Museum therefore works in partnership with other institutions (museums, Universities, research centres etc.) and external researchers.
The following programmes are currently worth noting:
The Laboratorio Permanente de Público de Museos (Permanent Laboratory of Museum Visitors), a sub department of the Ministry of State Museums, and the Education and Communication Department carry out regular studies of the museum audience, in order to develop a better understanding of its profile, expectations, motivations and values.
The museum collaborates with other institutions (museums, universities, research centre etc.) and with external researchers on joint research projects, the publication of scientific studies or the organisation of symposiums, conferences and discussions.
The National Museum of Ceramics has collaborated with the Instituto de Ciencias de los Materiales de la Universidad de Valencia (Institute for Material Science of the University of Valencia) to study blue cobalt pigment in Spanish ceramic works from the 13th to 19th centuries. The results have contributed to the understanding of technical details of production, and helped to accurately assess the date of production and the origin of the mineral or to authenticate an object.
The results of research are often disseminated to the research community and the rest of society through publications. These include studies of the museum’s collections, catalogues of temporary exhibitions and scientific studies. The series “Materiales y documentos” (Materials and Documents) started in 2006 dedicates each of its issues to the study of archaeological data, written texts and other documents on the subject of ceramics.
The Museum provides as well a consultation service for researchers.