York Art Gallery

Our collection of 20th century studio pottery is now the world’s most extensive and representative of British Studio Ceramics, with more than 5,000 pieces.

It includes works by Bernard Leach, Shoji Hamada, William Staite Murray, Michael Cardew, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, Jim Malone and Mick Casson.

Studio pottery is handmade pottery, made by an individual potter, or maker, in a studio, rather than mass-produced pottery made in factories.

Over the years we have acquired three significant collections. The first was the Very Reverend Eric Milner-White 1884-1963), who was Dean of York from 1941 until his death. The second was from Wakefield librarian William Alfred (or Bill) Ismay (1910-2001), who was awarded the MBE for his services to studio pottery in the New Years Honours list for 1982.

More recently we acquired the collection of Henry Rothschild (1913-2009), founder of the Primavera Gallery which launched the careers of some of Britain’s most important studio potters, and in 2011 secured a long term loan of London-based Anthony Shaw’s private collection.

Two new galleries within the new-look York Art Gallery, opening for Easter 2015, will become a Centre of Ceramic Arts (CoCA), to reflect the importance of this collection and to enable us to showcase much more of it.