Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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Designing Yorkshire Pottery: for the many, not the few

Yorkshire Pottery

The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery
Parkinson Building
Woodhouse Lane
University of Leeds
Leeds  LS2 9JT

Open Mondays, 1pm-5pm;
Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-5pm.

Admission is free.

A group of student curators, from MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies have worked with the University of Leeds’ Art Collection to create a display showing the fascinating evolution of the design of Yorkshire ceramics at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery.

From culinary items to more decorative pieces, a range of design styles shows the influences of the East on Western tastes. The various styles chart the popularisation of Yorkshire pottery as it became available to the many rather than the wealthy few. The exhibition also delves into the origins of Yorkshire creamware and celebrates the industry’s continued existence today through an interview with the owner of Ingleton Pottery.

Poster for Designing Yorkshire Pottery exhibitionCreamware is a traditionally English form of pottery. However, the influence of Eastern culture on Yorkshire potters is also evident in this exhibition. This merging of cultures shows that the Yorkshire community was keen to introduce fashionable exoticism into their homes.

The emergence of capitalism greatly affected the ceramics industry. The increased demand for commodities and the rapid escalation of the population during the 19th century resulted in the mass production of domestic objects. Many of the items on display were common designs found in factory pattern books. Similar items can still be found in private homes today  visit the Gallery to see if you recognise any.

The display also celebrates the survival of the local ceramics industry. Ingleton Pottery, a family-run business in the Yorkshire Dales, continues to design similar products for everyday use today. The existence of businesses such as this shows the sustained interest in keeping this industry alive in the Yorkshire region.

This exhibition examines the commercial and social history of this region through the design of Yorkshire ceramics to highlight the industry’s importance in the home life of Yorkshire families.

See The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery for full details.

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