This new display brings together 78 pieces of studio ceramics made by 29 potters working in England and Wales during the 20th century. 

Highlights include Bernard Leach’s rustic ‘Leaping Salmon’ vase, Austrian-born Lucie Rie’s brightly-coloured modernist bowls, and John Ward’s bold, geometric pots. There are also studio ceramics made by potters in the Midlands including a raku bowl by university lecturer and published author, David Jones.

The studio ceramics on display were collected by Stanley Sellers (1933-2013), a Birmingham-born man who worked as an architect in the city for 33 years. Throughout his life Stanley was passionate about art. As a young man he visited St Ives in Cornwall where he met several artists including Barbara Hepworth with whom he became close friends, and Bernard Leach whose pottery inspired him to collect ceramics. 

His art collection decorated the home he shared with his lifetime partner, conductor Richard Butt (1928-2010), walls covered in prints and drawings, and book shelves and tables filled with studio ceramics. During his retirement Stanley became a potter and examples of his studio ceramics are included in this display.

Stanley supported Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, volunteering as a Friend for several years. On his death in 2013, he bequeathed his art collection to Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery for the people of his beloved city and beyond to enjoy. Galleries 10 and 11.

Image 1: Dish by John Maltby (b. 1936)
Image 2: Stanley Sellers (1933-2013)