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Born Pilsley, Derbyshire, 12th December 1938

Died London, 21st January 2012



1958–1960 Dudley Training College

1960–1961 Bournemouth College of Art

1961–1962 Hornsey College of Art

1996 Ph D., Middlesex University

2003 Honorary degree, The Surrey Institute of Art and Design University College

2012 Honorary doctorate, Fine Arts, The University of Derby (posthumously awarded)



Gwyn Hanssen, London studio, 1963, La Borne, France, 1970

Bryan Newman, Dulwich studio, 1964



2015 – Emmanuel Cooper - Connections & Contrasts, Leach Pottery, St Ives.

2015 – Cooper’s Legacy – Contemporary Ceramics, London

2013/14 – Emmanuel Cooper: A Retrospective. Ruthin Craft Centre [tour to Derby & London]

2011 – Beaux Arts Gallery, Bath

2008 – Beaux Arts Gallery, Bath

2005 – Bourne Fine Art, Edinburgh

2005 – Crafts Study Centre, Farnham

2004 – Beaux Arts Gallery, Bath

2004 – Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster University

2003 – Fine Art Society, London

2002 – Ruthin Craft Centre

2001 – White Gallery, Hove

2000 – Galerie L, Hamburg

2000 – Beaux Arts, Bath

1996 – Ruthin Craft Centre (and UK tour 1996–2003)

1995 – New Ceramics: Beaux Arts, Bath

1993 – New Ceramics: J K Hill, London

1992 – Sense of Space: Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth

1990 – Stoke-on-Trent Museum and Art Gallery

1990 – Southampton Art Gallery

1990 – New Work: Contemporary Ceramics, London

1989 – New Work: Leigh Gallery, London

1987 – Pots: Craftsmen Potters Shop, London

1982 – Emmanuel Cooper: J K Hill, London

1979 – Emmanuel Cooper: Metropole Arts Centre, Folkestone, Kent

1978 – Emmanuel Cooper: Designers Guild, London

1978 – Emmanuel Cooper: Zomners Gallery, Heidelberg, Germany

1976 – Emmanuel Cooper: The Designers Guild, London

1973 – Ceramics: Sumas Gallery, Windsor

1972 – Emmanuel Cooper: British Crafts Centre, London

1969 – Emmanuel Cooper: Boadicia, London

1967 – Emmanuel Cooper: Gallery 369, Queen Mary College, London



2020 – A Century of Connections, Leach Pottery, St Ives

2019 - The Eccles Collection, Contemporary Ceramics, London

2019 – Studio Ceramics, Ancient House Museum, Thetford.

2019 – Moving Forward: The Craft Studies Centre at 50. CSC, Farnham

2019 – 20th Century British Ceramics, Erskine Hall & Coe, London

2018 – Masters of British Studio Pottery, Collect, Saatchi Gallery, London.

2017 – Making Out 67-17, Showcase Gallery, Southampton

2011 – Spring Exhibition, Stour Gallery

2011 – Through Fifty, Contemporary Ceramics Centre, London

2010 – Ceramics for Christmas, Fine Art Society

2010 – Focus, Contemporary Applied Arts

2009 – 50 at the BDC, Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool

2008 – The Vessel, The Object, Made in England, Switzerland

2008 – Cup, Contemporary Applied Arts

2007 – CPA at Fifty, The Gallery at Bevere

2006 – Ceramics for Christmas, Fine Art Society

2006 – Sotis Philippides, Paris

2004 – Fine Art Society

2004 – Contemporary Applied Arts

2004 – Blackwell House

2003 – Fine Art Society

2002 – Craftsmen Potters Exhibition, London

2002 – Porcelain, Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool

2002 – Christmas Exhibition, Fine Art Society, London

2001 – FAS Now, Fine Art Society, London

2001 – Art of the Unexpected, Sotheby’s Fine Art, New York

2001 – SOFA Fine Crafts Fair, Chicago

2000 – Give and Take, Contemporary Art Society, The Economist, London

2000 – Inspired and Fired, Craft Potters, The Metropole Arts Centre, Folkstone

1999 – White Christmas, The City Gallery, Leicester

1999 – Art for Christmas, Fine Art Society, London

1999 – New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham

1999 – Millennium Mug Exhibition, Galerie Besson, London

1999 – Current Context: New Ways of Seeing, National Museums of Scotland

1998 – Perspectives in Porcelain, The Devon Guild of Craftsmen

1998 – Summer Exhibition, The Gallery Upstairs, Henley-in-Harden

1997 – Glazed Ceramics, Contemporary Applied Arts

1997 – Christmas Exhibition, St James’s Gallery, Bath

1997 – Touching the Past, Contemporary Ceramics, London

1997 – Gainsborough House, Suffolk

1997 – St James’s Gallery, Bath

1997 – Beaux Arts Gallery, Bath

1996 – Coram Gallery, London

1995 – Oriel 31, Café Culture, Welshpool

1994 – Studio Ceramics Today, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

1994 – Pots for Food: Royal Exchange Crafts Centre, Manchester

1994 – High Table: Craftspace Touring: MAC, Worcester City Museum and UK tour

1993 – Boxes: Contemporary Ceramics, London

1993 – Of Porcelain & Silk: Rufford Crafts Centre, Newark

1991 – Summer Open Weekend: Balls Pond Studio, London

1990 – Contemporary Ceramics: Odette Gilbert Gallery, London

1990 – 10th Anniversary Collection: JK Hill, London

1990 – CPA IV: Mid Cornwall Galleries, Par

1989 – Southampton City Museum

1989 – Stoke on Trent Museum & Art Gallery

1987 – Craftsmen Potters Shop, London

1986 – Summer Exhibition: Leigh Gallery, London

1985 – Craft Council Shop at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London

1985 – Beaux Arts, Bath

1983 – Studio Ceramics Today, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

1981 – Prescote Gallery, Oxfordshire

1974 – Six British Potters, USA

1974 – The Big Smoke: British Crafts Centre

1973 – Salix: Windsor

1970 – British Pavilion, Expo, Osaka, Japan



1987 – Bird Bath, commissioned by Peter Brandt Associates

1985 – Vases, Haselbech Church, Northampton



Crafts Council Index

Contemporary Applied Arts

Craft Potters Association (Fellow)

Red Rose Guild of Designer Craftsmen

Society of Designer Craftsmen (Fellow)

Council member, Craft Potters Association

Fellow Royal Society of Arts



Crafts Council Collection

Victoria and Albert Museum

Royal Scottish Museum

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Pallant House Gallery,

Warwick University

Norwich Castle, Norfolk

Art Gallery and Museum, Stoke-on-Trent

Williamson Art Gallery, Wirral

Aberystwyth Art Centre

Portsmouth City Museum

Allen Galley, Alton

Glasgow Museum and Art Gallery

Cleveland Craft Centre

Centre for Ceramic Art, York Museum

Derby Museum and Art Gallery

Chatsworth House Collection

The Hepworth, Wakefield



Philadelphia Museum of Art, USA

Egner Collection, Cologne, Germany

Arkansas Art Centre, USA

National Museum of Ceramics and Decorative Arts "González Martí", Valencia, Spain

Sevres Museum, Paris, France



Senior lecturer (associate) – Middlesex University 1974–1997

Visiting lecturer

Camberwell School of Art, London Institute

Central/St Martins School of Art, London Institute

Goldsmiths’ College, London University

Visiting Professor, Royal College of Art, 2000–2011



Co–Editor and publisher of Ceramic Review 1970–1997

Editor Ceramic Review 1997–2010

Series Editor, The Complete Potter (BT Batsford) 1985­–1995


AUTHOR: Art and Photography


Baron Von Gloeden: Photographer Monograph, (GMP, London) 1982

Interiors: Paintings by Cornelius McCarthy, (GMP, London), 1984

The Sexual Perspective: Homosexuality & Art in the Last 100 Years in the West, Routledge, 1986 [New Edition 1994]

The Life & Work of Henry Scott Tuke (GMP, London), 1987

Machinations: Photographs by Arthur Tress (GMP, London), 1989

Fully Exposed: The Male Nude in Photography: 1990 [New Edition 1995], Routledge, London.

People’s Art: Working Class Art from 1750 to the Present Day, (Mainstream), 1994

Male Bodies, (Prestel, London), 2007



AUTHOR: Ceramics


Handbook of Pottery (Longman) 1970

History of Pottery (Longman) 1972

Taking Up Pottery (Arthur Barker) 1972

New Ceramics (with Eileen Lewenstein) (Studio Vista) 1974

Pottery (MacDonald) 1976

Glazes for the Studio Potter (with Derek Royle) (B T Batsford) 1978

The Potter’s Book of Glaze Recipes (B.T. Batsford) 1980

Potters (with Eileen Lewenstein) 1972, 74, 75, 77, 80, 83, 86, 89 (Craft Potters Association)

Potters 1989, 92, 94, 97, 2000 (Craft Potters Association)

Ceramic Review Book of Glaze Recipes 1977, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1995

A History of World Pottery (B T Batsford) 1982

Electric Kiln Pottery (B T Batsford) 1982

Cooper’s Book of Glaze Recipes (B T Batsford) 1987

Art of the Potter: David Lloyd-Jones (York City Art Gallery) 1996

Ten Thousand Years of Pottery, (British Museum Press), London, 2000

Lucie Rie, (ed), (Ceramic Review Publishing), London, 2002

Bernard Leach, Life and Work (Yale University Press), 2003

David Leach, (Richard Dennis Publications), 2003

Walter Keeler, (Ruthin Craft Centre/City Art Gallery, Leicester), 2004

Magdalene Odundo, (Lund Humphries), 2004

The Potter’s Book of Glaze Recipes, (A & C Black), 2004

Janet Leach (Ceramic Review Publishing) 2006

The Ceramic Book, (Ceramic Review Publishing), London, 2006, 2008

Contemporary Ceramics, (Thames & Hudson) 2009

Michael Casson (Ruthin Craft Centre) 2010

Lucie Rie: Modernist Potter (Yale University Press) 2012




‘Ash Glazes’, Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie: A Potter’s Life 1895–1985, Crafts Council, 1986

‘The Magic and the Mystery’: Sutton Taylor: Leeds City Art Gallery, 1988

‘Kate Malone’: Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 1989

‘A Potter’s Life’: Geoffrey Whiting: Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 1989

‘Bringing it all Back Home’, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 1992

‘Aspects of Place’: John Maltby: Rufford Craft Centre, 1992

‘Ruthanne Tudball’: Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 1992

‘On the Edge’, Craft Council, 1994

‘The Furniture of Home’: Angus Suttie: Contemporary Applied Arts, 1994

‘The Pleasure Principle’: Martin Hearne: Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 1994

‘Andrew McGarva’ Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 1994

‘Waste Not Want Not’, Recycling, Craftspace Touring, Craft Council Gallery, 1996

‘Frail Mortality’, Joel-Peter Witkin, Stills Gallery, Edinburgh, 1995

‘Industry and Invention’, Lucie Rie and Hans Coper: Potters in Parallel, Catalogue Barbican Gallery, London/Book Herbert Press, London, 1997

‘One Touch of Nature: The Ceramics of Beverley Bell-Hughes’, Ruthin Craft Centre, 1997

‘Queer Spectacles’ – contributor to Outlooks: Lesbian and Gay Sexualities and Visual Cultures, Ed Peter Horne and Reina Lewis Routledge, London, 1997

‘Subject and Object: A Potter and His Life’, Ideas in the Making: Practice in Theory, ed Pamela Johnson, Crafts Council, 1998

‘Bennett Cooper’, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 1998

‘From Here to Eternity’, New Work by Sunil Gupta, Standpoint Gallery, London

Forward, ‘A Dialogue in Clay’, Artizana, Cheshire, 1999

‘Time, totem and taboo’, New Times July 1999

‘Camera as Conscience’, New Times, September, 1999

‘First Clay’: Document: Paul Astbury: 1999

‘Body and Soul’, David Binns: Ruthin Craft Centre, 2000

‘Art for High Art’s Sake?’ New Times, May 2000

‘Legends and Traditions: The Ceramics of Magdalene Odundo’, Blackwell House, Abbott Hall, Kendal, 2001

‘Tuning In’, Martin Smith: Tate St Ives, 2001

‘Sue Paraskeva’: Cleveland Craft Centre, 2001

‘Sensual Pleasures: Gordon Baldwin’, Barrett Marsden Gallery, London, 2001

‘Urban Rituals: Julian Stair’, Contemporary Applied Art, London, 2001

‘Mapping the Territory’, CC4, Contemporary Ceramics 4, 2002

‘Living Dangerously’, Nicholas Arroyave Portela, Leicester Art Gallery, 2002

‘Use and Beauty’ David & Margaret Frith: Ruthin Craft Centre, 2003

‘In Parallel’ Ashley Howard & Martin Lungley, 2004

‘Taking Risks’, Bowl: Rupert Spira, 2004

‘Caravan’: Gwyn Hanssen Pigott: Tate St Ives, 2004

‘London Days’: Gwyn Hanssen Pigott: National Gallery of Victoria, 2005

‘Anatomy of Structure’ Halima Cassell, 2005

‘Your own landscape’: Simon Carroll: Tate St Ives, 2005

‘Line, Form, Surface’: Susan Disley & Angela Verdon, 2006

‘Pot, Vessel, Object’: 50 Years of the CPA, Ceramic Review Publishing, 2007

‘The cats are jumping’ Urban Field, 2007

‘Kyra Cane’: Parallel Lines: Contemporary Applied Arts, 2008

‘Time Present, Time Past’: Felicity Aylieff, 2008

‘Nancy’s Pots’ Nancy Baldwin and Gordon Baldwin: Ruthin Craft Centre, 2008

‘Cracks and Crevices’: Ruth Duckworth: Ruthin Craft Centre, 2009


New National Biography

Entries on William State Murray, Janet Leach, Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie, Norah Braden, Michael Casson



Art critic Morning Star 1987–1992

Art critic Gay News 1980–1990

Art critic Tribune 1992–2011


Contributing art writing

Time Out 1991–1997

Gay Times 1992–2000

Art and Artists 1980–90

Contemporary Visual Art 1995–97

Creative Camera 1984–2000

Crafts magazine 1985–2000

Tate magazine, 2001–3


Ceramics Monthly, Crafts, Guardian, Studio Ceramics, Ceramic Review



World of the Makers by Edward Lucie-Smith, 1975 (Paddington Press)

Studio Porcelain by Peter Lane 1980 (A&C Black)

British Studio Pottery by Oliver Watson 1990 (Phaidon)

Emmanuel Cooper: Ceramic Series: No 56: October 1992: Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

Emmanuel Cooper: Ruthin Craft Centre: 1996

The Ceramics Design Course: by Anthony Quinn 2007 (Thames & Hudson)

Breaking the Mould: New Approaches to Ceramics: Various: 2007 (Black Dog Publishing)

Emmanuel Cooper: Abundance: Beaux Arts/Ceramic Review: 2008

Significant Figures in Art & Craft Today by Derek Reay 2011 (MoTi)

Emmanuel Cooper OBE: Retrospective 1938-2012: Ruthin Craft Centre: 2013

An Absent Portrait: Emmanuel Cooper: Aileen Harvey: Canalside Editions: 2013

Emmanuel Cooper: Connections & Contrasts: Leach Pottery: 2015 

Savoir & Faire: La terre edited by Hugues Jacquet: Actes Sud: 2016

The Tea Bowl: East and West by Bonnie Kemske: Bloomsbury: 2017

Making Emmanuel Cooper: edited by David Horbury: Unicorn Publishing: 2019




Geoffrey Whiting, Aberystwyth Arts Centre/Crafts Study Centre, Bath, 1991

Bringing it all Back Home, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 1992

People’s Art: Working Class Art 1750 to the Present Day, Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham and tour, 1994

The Sexual Perspective Jill George Gallery, London 1994

On the Edge: Art Meets Craft Kettles Yard Cambridge/Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Crafts Council Gallery, London and tour, 1995

David Lloyd-Jones Retrospective York City Art Gallery/Aberystwyth Arts Centre

[Un]limited Change and Development in international Contemporary Craft, Craft Council, 1999

40th Anniversary Exhibition – Ceramics – Bluecoat, Liverpool, 1999

Three Decades: Objects from the Crafts Council Collection 1972–1999, Crafts Council, London Institute and national tour, 2000

Bernard Leach/Mark Tobey, A creative relationship, Tate St Ives, 2001

Concept and Form, Pots, drawings, etchings, furniture, paintings and jewellery by Bernard Leach, Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Penzance, May 2002, and national tour until August 2003.

Table Manners: International Contemporary Tableware, Crafts Council Gallery, London and tour, 2007



CONFERENCES (selected)

‘Change and Development in international Contemporary Craft’, Craft Council, 1994

Critical Crafts 2 ‘Re-Inventing Craft’, Seminar Series Camden Arts Centre, 1998

‘Bernard Leach: The Early Years’, Crafts Council/Victoria and Albert Museum, 1998

‘Ends and Beginnings’, Camberwell College of Arts, London 2001

‘Ceramics in Context’, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 2001 (chair)

‘Pinning it Down’, Norwich School of Art, 2001

‘Form and Content: Aesthetics and Technology in Contemporary Ceramics’, Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London University, 2002

‘From Material Things: art and artefact in the 21st century’, International Conference, British Museum, 2002

‘Pinning it Down: Crafts in a changing climate, Norwich School of Art and Design




Regular contributor BBC arts unit, Radio Four, Radio Three

Front Row, BBC Radio 4,

Nightwaves, BBC Radio 3

‘The Potter’s Wheel’, Radio 4

‘Masculinities’, Radio 3, 2001



Grants and Loans Committee, Crafts Council, 1988–95

Special Projects Committee, Crafts Council, 1988–93

Ceramics Advisor, Aberystwyth Arts Centre 1988–1993

Member Visual Arts Panel, Arts Council of England 1998–2000

Contemporary Art Society, Special Collection Scheme (Stoke on Trent Art Gallery), 1999

MIMA Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

Craft Lives Advisory Committee



Arts Council of England – 2000–2002

Arts Council, England, London – 2002–2006

Craft Potters Charitable Trust – 1995–2012

Ceramic Review Publishing (Director), 1985–2010

Craft Potters Association (Council Member), 1980–2010

The Making (Museum of Modern Craft) 2002–2012

Farnham Pottery Trust (Patron)



Middlesex University: 1971–97 MA and BA Internal Assessor

Croydon School of Art 1972–1975 Diploma: External Assessor

Glasgow School of Art 1984–1987 BA: External Assessor

Buckinghamshire College, Brunel University 1991–1996: BA External Assessor

Cardiff Institute of Higher Education 1996–2000 BA: External Assessor

Kent Institute of Art and Design, Rochester

Bath College of Higher Education 1998–2003 BA: External Assessor



London Arts Board 1990–1997

National Lottery Board 1996–1999

Visual Arts Panel, Arts Council of England 1998–2000



Gulbenkian Research Award 1993–5

Writers Guild Award 1997

Crafts Council Award 1997

Elected fellow of the Royal Society of Art 1998

Order of the British Empire, New Years Honours List, 2002, Citation ‘Potter. Services to Art’

Society of Designer Craftsmen – Silver Medal, 2002

International Ceramics Festival Lifetime Achievement Award, 2011



Selector The Maker’s Eye Crafts Council 1982

Selector Studio Ceramics Today Victoria & Albert Museum 1983

Chair, Jerwood Applied Art Prize, Ceramics, selection panel, Crafts Council, 2001


OBITUARIES (selected from national press)

Gillian Lowndes (2010)

Ursula Mommens (2010)

Dan Arbeid (2010)

Simon Carroll (2009)

Ruth Duckworth (2009)

David Miller (2008)

Derek Davies (2008)

Robert Fournier (2008)

Susan Williams-Ellis (2008)

Hans Hedberg (2007)

William Marshall (2007)

Colin Pearson (2007)

Edward Hughes (2006)

David Leach (2005)

Eileen Lewenstein (2005)

Sidney Tustin (2005)

Derek Emms (2004)

Alan Barrett Danes (2004)

John Solly (2004)

Elizabeth Zuckerman (2004)

Helen Pinchcombe (2004)

Monica Young (2004)

Michael Casson (2003)

Waistel Cooper (2003)

Graham Burr (2003)

Peter Voulkos (2002)

Norah Braden (2001)

Walter Cole (1999)

Rollo Ballantyne (1999)

Patrick Sargent (1998)

Beatrice Wood (1998)

Janet Leach (1997)

Robert Washington (1997)

Siddig El Nigoumi (1996)

Lucie Rie (1995)

David Lloyd-Jones (1994)

Simon Pettet (1994)

Angus Suttie (1993)

Ian Godfrey (1992)

Michael Cardew (1983)



Roughly Art, 30 minute documentary, commissioned by Carlton Television 1994


PUBLIC LECTURES 1997–2010 (selected)

Hayward Gallery, London – Robert Mapplethorpe, 1998

Barbican Art Gallery, London – Lucie Rie/Hans Coper, Harley Davidson Motor Bikes, 1998

National Portrait Gallery – BP Portrait Awards, 1997

Royal Academy – Picasso the Potter, 1998

Victoria and Albert Museum – Bernard Leach, 1998

Three Decades: Objects from the Crafts Council Collection 1972–1999, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea, 2001

‘From Here to Eternity’, New Work by Sunil Gupta, Standpoint Gallery, London, 2000

‘An Inner Life’, Bernard Leach and Mark Tobey, Tate St Ives, 2001

Bernard Leach’, The Barlow Lecture, University of Sussex, 2002

Bernard Leach National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, 2003

Bernard Leach ‘Ways with Words’, Dartington, 2003

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