The Ceramic Collection is part of the School of Art Museum, within the Institute of Literature, Languages ILLCA Institute of Literature, Languages & Creative Arts Aberystwyth University. The collection is one of the major collections of British and international non-industrial ceramics in Britain and has significant works representing the history of early studio production of British ceramics and an on-going programme of acquisitions of contemporary works. The ceramic collection is particularly noted for its studio pottery of the period 1920-1940 and for contemporary ceramics from the 1970s until the present. The collection has fine examples of pottery by Bernard Leach, Michael Cardew, Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie, Norah Braden, Charles and Nell Vyse, William Staite Murray and Reginald Wells. The collection also includes a fine body of nineteenth century slipware and examples of work from many periods, from archaeological specimens to Welsh porcelain of Nantgarw and Swansea.
The main collection was formed during 1920-1936 and since 1974, there has been an active acquisitions policy culminating in over 2000 works. We acquire ceramics regularly for the collection via donations, gifts and purchases and are grateful to the support of the Contemporary Art Society for Wales, the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Art Fund.
Ceramic Gallery and Exhibition programme
The Ceramic Gallery is situated in a busy Arts Centre in Aberystwyth, where a changing programme of events takes place, including informal and formal learning in the gallery environment. The gallery has two rooms: the back gallery is used to display key parts of the permanent collection while the front gallery has a changing programme of curated exhibitions running throughout the year. These shows will usually draw on the permanent collection but often include works by invited artists or curators. See Exhibitions for current information >>>
Working in collaboration with the education staff of Aberystwyth Arts Centre, we run a schools programme in relation to the shows and also a Family Activity programme. We also organise symposia and talks for researchers and activities and events for community groups. See Learning and Outreach for current activities and events >>>
Touring Exhibitions and Loans:
We regularly lend works for exhibitions elsewhere in the UK and abroad and we generate touring shows from items in the collection.
The Ceramic Archive based at the School of Art, facilitates research surrounding the history of the collection, makers in the collection, and non-industrial British and international ceramics in general. It collects physical documents as well as recordings made through audio, visual and digital media relating to ceramic artists. We have over 300 interviews and lecture recordings which we are in the process of being digitised. We run an extensive website and deal with many enquiries by personal visit, phone or email. We can also supply images for personal research or commercial publications. See Ceramic Archive to learn more>>>
We are unable to give valuations on ceramic pieces and recommend you contact a reputable antique dealer or auction house such as Bonham’s, Christie’s or Sotheby’s. You can find details of local antiques dealers and auction houses in the UK on the Association of Art & Antiques Dealers or The British Antique Dealers’ Association websites.