William Bower Dalton (1868 – 1965) British watercolourist and potter

Ceramic Bowl designed by William Bower Dalton (1933) (V&A)
Ceramic Bowl designed by William Bower Dalton (1933) (V&A)

William Bower Dalton (1868 – 1965) was a British watercolourist and potter. He was active in Kent and the United States.


He was the principal of Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts from 1899 to 1919. He was the curator of the South London Art Gallery during and after this time. Dalton was just 31 years old when he arrived at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts in 1899. He’d done well to land the position in such a competitive environment โ€“ there were 71 other candidates.

Ceramic Bowl designed by William Bower Dalton (1933) (V&A)
Ceramic Bowl designed by William Bower Dalton (1933) (V&A)

He was a potter as well as a watercolourist and published three books on ceramic art. In 1909, he designed and built his own home in Kent; he lived there until his workshop was burned down during World War II; he settled in the United States, where he continued to pot and paint;

His work was seen with; 

  • Red Rose Guild and at Colnaghi’s, London; 
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1935 ‘English Pottery Old and New’ exhibition; 
  • 1937 Paris’ Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne’; Hayward Gallery, London, 
  • 1979-80 ‘Thirties’ exhibition.


Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

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