22 February – 30 March
Museum and Art Gallery
Cooper was a distinguished craftsman, potter, broadcaster and academic of international standing. The work on display at the Museum and Art Gallery, Royal Crown Derby Visitor Centre and Derby University (Markeaton campus) demonstrates his skills as a potter of tableware, experiments in ceramic glaze, and playful experimentation of thrown, pinched and slab pots.
As a young boy, Emmanuel Cooper would dig up clay in the village of Pilsley, Derbyshire and fire it with a variety of consequences in the fireplace. In the Derbyshire landscape he explored both his connection to nature, to the world outside of Pilsley and beyond.
Pottery has been taught in some form or other at the University of Derby since the 1800s. In the 1880s the link with students and the Derby china works at Osmaston was more profound. T.C. Simmonds (Headmaster, Derby School of Art, 1873) reported on the area of study of modelling clay, a skill with relevance to ceramic production and iron-founding. In 1887 the Derby Crown Porcelain Company had been recorded as having given a number of prizes to their employees who had attended the School and it was noted that Derby had one of the best records in the country for art teacher education.
This exhibition was opened by Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director of the Crafts Council, at Ruthin Craft Centre.
The book Emmanuel Cooper OBE is available for sale as is the history of Derby Schools of Art, Science & Technology 1853-2003. Please visit the Museum Shop for details.