Early accounts of studio pottery, notably those by Muriel Rose (1955) and Paul Rice and Christopher Gowing, (1989) were selective and very partisan, basically, just showing the pottery they liked. Oliver Watson’s 1993 survey of studio ceramics in the V&A was the first to cover the subject in an objective and dispassionate way and after Watson there were numerous scholarly studies. The revision of Watson’s volume by the V&A’s senior ceramics curator, Alun Graves (above) has been a long time in preparation and it’s now out. Watson acknowledged the significance of figurative studio pottery in the 1920s and 1930s (ignored by Rose, Rice and Gowing) but he had to exclude it for reasons of space. Graves’s book covers the modellers, in which there’s a growing interest, and it’s a welcome addition to the literature.

Alun Graves, Studio Ceramics (London: Thames and Hudson/V&A, 2023)

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