Throughout the twentieth century, ceramics was broadly divided into two sectors. Studio pottery, which was a reaction against the mass-made wares of the industrial revolution, and fine art by contemporary artists, who just happened to use clay in their practice but rejected many of its traditional codes of practice.
The purpose of this publication is to introduce the rich and diverse ceramics in the National Trust’s enormous and encyclopedic collection, which contains around 75,000 objects and is kept in 250 historic houses in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. One hundred essential pieces have been chosen from this vast collection, each adding to our understanding of ceramic patronage and history by showing the very personal stories of ownership, exhibition, taste, and consumption.
British potters have revitalized traditional ceramic forms for nearly a century by creating or reinventing techniques, materials, and display methods. Things of Beauty Growing delves into the primary vessel typologies that have defined studio ceramics from the early twentieth century, such as bowls, vases, and chargers.