Arthur berry 1925 - 1994

2 min läsning

Arthur Berry, By Amanda Bromley (an extract) Director of Stoke based Barewall Art Gallery Whilst L.S Lowry and William Turner were portraying the industry and Northern life of Lancashire, Manchester and Salford. In the Northern parts of Staffordshire, there lies the Potteries. A collection of six towns making up the city of Stoke on Trent where artists were claiming their own different corner of what now is termed Northern art.

Setting the Scene of the Industrial Potteries

One of the six towns, Burslem also known as the Mother Town of the Potteries. Birthplace of Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795), and Enoch Wood (1759-1840) – early Georgian potters who transformed studio pottery into manufacture, exporting their new innovative wares to the world via a new network of canals to the port of Liverpool. Burslem grew and benefited in its architecture and status.

Up to the 1950’s. Bottle shaped kilns raged and fired day and night in this industrial setting of pot banks, coal mines, steel works and canals. Lying on a rich seam of coal and red clay the Potteries became a natural thriving setting for the wheels of The Industrial Revolution.

The Burslem Art School

The Burslem School of Art originally opened in 1853 at the Wedgwood Institute moving to a purpose-built art school in 1905. In the early 20th century, students with promise were sent to Saturday art classes at Portland House aged 11 and then onto the Burslem School of Art to gain an education in art and design. At 14 they were apprenticed into the art departments of the famous potteries such as Royal Doulton, Minton, Spode or Wedgwood. Others continued their education to go onto some of the top London art colleges including The Slade and The Royal College of Art.

Arthur Berry was born into a working-class family in a small pit village on the outskirts of Burslem called Smallthorne. He did not take to painting on figures when drafted from the Burslem art school to Royal Doulton. He knew he wanted to get back to start his diploma in art as soon as he could. Born with a withered arm, his options for manual work decreased significantly so he was pleased to attend the Burslem School of Art (1936-1942) with little encouragement from home. His father declaring that “if his son wanted to be an artist that he would b

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