York Art Gallery

< Back to News

‘Seeing with Another Eye’ is a new display curated by collector Anthony Shaw, combining some of the objects and art works he has lived with since childhood, alongside favourite pieces and exciting new acquisitions. Through this new display in the Centre of Ceramic Art at York Art Gallery, Anthony explores the roots of his collection and its growth and development over the past 50 years. From domestic functional work through to monumental sculpture, the display features an array of important works by influential artists and new emerging talent, including Gordon Baldwin, Ewen Henderson, Gillian Lowndes, Ian Godfrey, Kerry Jameson, Bryan Illsley, Sara Radstone, Nao Matsunaga, James Thompson and many more.

Shaw has been collecting art since 1973. He was lucky to experience many cultures and travel widely in his youth, which he says inspired his collecting choices in adulthood. His collection is on a generous long-term loan to York Museums Trust. Shaw has always felt that his collection is most at home in a domestic environment, and he has worked with the ceramist Martin Smith to develop a domestic-style space in which to show his collection within York Art Gallery. Taking the form of two rooms, Shaw places his objects on furniture, between books on shelves, in front of paintings and he invites visitors in to share the experience of living with a collection.

Dr Helen Walsh, Curator of Ceramics, said: “We are so grateful for our ongoing partnership with Anthony Shaw. He is particularly drawn to work that explores the sculptural and painterly qualities of clay.  Our rich collection of ceramics at the Centre for Ceramic Art compliments his collecting taste beautifully.”

Anthony Shaw said: “I am most interested in artists who use clay as another medium, often mixing it with other materials. They produce work that contrasts with the pottery that makes up most of York’s collection.”

A new publication about Shaw’s collection has been published to accompany this new display. Also entitled Seeing with Another Eye, the book features beautiful illustrations skilfully staged by photographer Philip Sayer, as well as contributions by Anthony Shaw himself and David Whiting, who set this remarkable collection in its art historical context. The book can be ordered here.

The York Art Gallery’s Centre for Ceramic Art holds the largest collection of British Studio Ceramics in the UK. It is a hugely important repository for the history and study of ceramics in Britain. Fostering conversations between the Gallery’s collection and other private collections, like Shaw’s, helps fuel dialogue about ceramics in Britain and gives visitors access to objects that are not usually available to the public.