Art History academic curates ceramics exhibition

Exploring the influence of Jewish ceramicists on British culture, Regent’s University London Senior Lecturer in Art History, Julia Weiner, is co-curator of a new ‘Shaping Ceramics’ exhibition at the Jewish Museum London.

The exhibition runs from 10 November 2016-26 February 2017 and features work by a range of high-profile potters, including Lucie Rie, Hans Coper and Edmund de Waal.

Porcelain bottle by Ray Silverman
'Porcelain Bottle' by Ray Silverman

“This exhibition is the first to explore the contribution made to ceramics by potters of Jewish heritage,” Ms Weiner explained.

“Lucie Rie and Hans Coper, both refugees from Nazism who came to this country in the 1930s, totally transformed studio ceramics in this country. They imported modernist ideas from central Europe and created pots in unusual shapes with textured surfaces.”

“We also show the work of Grete Marks, whose ceramics were originally labelled ‘degenerate’ by the Nazis for their bright colours and geometric forms. The exhibition also includes works by contemporary potters including de Waal, who is arguably the most famous potter at the moment and creates art installations.”

Featuring 13 ceramicists and spanning more than 80 years of ceramic art, Ms Weiner said she had very much enjoyed working on the exhibition which had given her the opportunity to travel the country with her co-curator Agi Katz to select work. 

Ms Weiner, who is herself Jewish, will also be involved in a talk related to the exhibition on 7 December, 'In Conversation with: Ray Silverman'. She has also contributed two essays to the exhibition catalogue.

Ms Weiner has worked for Regent’s since 2007, having been in her current role since 2011, where she teaches students in a range of Liberal Arts programmes. She hopes her students will visit the exhibition, and has taken her students to the museum in the past. 

“Much of my teaching takes place in front of original objects because you get so much more out of a class when they are looking at the real thing rather than a reproduction.” 

She said she enjoys working at Regent’s because of the fantastic colleagues, internationalism and great location, as well as the fact that academics are given the opportunity to innovate, having been given the chance to explore one of her passions through teaching the module on ‘Town and Country House Interiors’.

She is also the art critic of the Jewish Quarterly, where her most recent article on abstract expressionism has just appeared and also contributes regularly to the Jewish Chronicle. She recently wrote about the potter Hans Coper’s work in the ‘Shaping Ceramics’ exhibition for the Craft Council

The Jewish Museum London’s ‘Shaping Ceramics’ exhibition costs £7.50 for adults or £6.50 for concession-holders and includes entry to the entire museum.