"Bernard Leach" by Emmanuel Cooper

Bernard Leach Life and Work Emmanuel Cooper

The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
Publication date:
25 Feb 2020
Paul Mellon Centre BA
440 pages: 235 x 156mm
26 color + 79 b-w illus.

Widely recognized as the father of studio pottery, Bernard Leach (1887–1979) played a pioneering role in creating an identity for artist potters in Britain and around the world. Born in the East (Hong Kong) and educated in the West (England), throughout his life Leach perceived himself as a courier between the disparate cultures. His exquisite pots reflect the inspiration he drew from East and West as well as his response to the basic tenets of modernism—truth to materials, the importance of function to form, and simplicity of decoration. This outstanding biography provides for the first time a vivid and detailed account of Leach’s life and its relation to his art.
Emmanuel Cooper, himself a potter of international reputation, explores Leach’s working methods, the seams of his pottery, his writings and philosophy, his recognition in Japan and Britain, and his continuing legacy, bringing into sharp focus a complex man who captured in his work as a potter the “still center” that always eluded him in his tumultuous personal life.

Emmanuel Cooper was a distinguished potter, writer, and visiting professor on the ceramics and glass program at the Royal College of Art in London.

"[A] magisterial biography. . . . Fascinating."—Emma Crichton-Miller