This comprehensive, scholarly and multi-disciplinary life of the great Stoke-on-Trent potter William Moorcroft offers us a new account of design, ceramic production, and international aesthetics in the first half of the twentieth century. By approaching Moorcroft as an inheritor of the William Morris tradition, Mallinson’s work successfully explores the tension between art pottery and industrial design – and Moorcroft’s pioneering role within both traditions between the wars. From Buckingham Palace to Liberty’s, from the Royal Academy to the New York World’s Fair, Moorcroft was a global figure of design excellence, whose place within modernism, ceramic art and the history of the Potteries has now been so compellingly told.’
Dr Tristram Hunt
Director, Victoria and Albert Museum
Jonathan Mallinson, a collector and Emeritus Fellow at Trinity College Oxford, has released William Moorcroft, Potter: Individuality by Design as a free publication via Open Book Publishers. It was developed with several dealers including AD Antiques, Andrew Muir, Rumours Decorative Arts and Wayne Hopton. Mallinson says: “This book was inspired by a small wartime pomegranate vase seen at an antiques centre. It sparked an interest in William Moorcroft’s pottery which was greatly developed by conversations with some of the leading decorative arts dealers of the last two decades.” He undertook further research in the National Art Library and in the Stoke-on-Trent City Archives where Moorcroft’s archive is held. The dealers consulted also contributed many of the illustrations. Mallinson adds: “Such is the incomparable benefit of fairs, and the personal interaction they make possible; the exchange of knowledge is as valuable as the trade in pots.”
"Moorcroft for free". Antiques Trade Gazette, 2023.
OBP presents a conversation with Jonathan Mallinson, author of 'William Moorcroft, Potter: Individuality by Design'.
This portfolio includes examples from some of the larger art pottery producers of the time (Doulton Lambeth, Minton, Wedgwood, Pilkington), independent potteries (Linthorpe, Della Robbia), individual artist potters or glaze chemists (William de Morgan, Bernard Moore, Edmund Elton, William Howson Taylor), studio potters (Michael Cardew, Bernard Leach, William Staite Murray, Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie, Reginald Wells), and commercial designers (Truda Carter, Clarice Cliff, Susie Cooper, Keith Murray, Charlotte Rhead, Eric Slater).
A selection of critical notices published in the UK, US, Canada and France, covering the whole of Moorcroft’s career.
A selection of Moorcroft’s writings on pottery, including letters and articles published in national newspapers, trade magazines and art journals, as well as handwritten notes and drafts of private correspondence.
Jonathan Mallinson is Emeritus Professor of Early Modern French Literature and Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. He has written extensively on prose fiction, comedy and satire of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and has edited works by Molière, Voltaire and Graffigny. His interest in British art pottery and its reception dates back many years.