Page 1

Muriel Rose A Modern Crafts Legacy Edited by Jean Vacher


Bibliography

Acknowledgments

Bland, A., Mavrogordato, T. and Vacher, J., 20th century crafts: a review of

Kate Woodhead for the insightful conversations that we have held about

the first Crafts Study Centre exhibition 1972, Crafts Study Centre/Surrey

Muriel Rose and the Little Gallery, Barley Roscoe for her help at the beginning

Institute of Art & Design, 2005

of my research, Elen Phillips at St Fagans National History Museum,

The British Council, The Exhibition of Modern British Crafts organised by the British Council, London, undated exhibition catalogue Cooper, Emmanuel, Bernard Leach: Life & Work, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2003

National Museum of Wales for help in research activity, Susie Alcock for her scrupulous and helpful proof-reading and David Westwood for his highquality photography. (JV) Peter Cox for his thoughtful recollection of Muriel Rose at Dartington; David Medd for his recollection of Muriel Rose’s sycamore table and Diana Eccles

Fitzrandolph, Mavis Traditional Quilting, B.T. Batsford, London, 1954

for the tremendous support of the British Council. (SO)

Gamble, Roe Chelsea Child, British Broadcasting Corporation, London 1979

Deryn O’Connor for her in-depth knowledge and advice on the history of the

Harrod, Tanya, The Crafts in Britain in the 20th Century, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1999 Olding, S. and Carter, P. (eds), Crafts Study Centre: Essays for the Opening, Canterton Books, Hampshire, 2004 Rose, Muriel, Artist Potters in England, Faber and Faber, London, 1970 Stevens, Christine, Decline and Revival in Quilts, National Museums, Cardiff, 1993 Woodhead, Kate, Muriel Rose and the Little Gallery, unpublished M.A. thesis, Victoria and Albert Museum/Royal College of Art, 1989 Woodhead, Kate, A very twentieth-century imagination: The Holburne Museum & Crafts Study Centre in Quilters’ Review, Winter 1994

62 MURIEL ROSE: A MODERN CRAFTS LEGACY

Muriel Rose bequest, Amelia Uden for her sensitive direction of photography in the recording of woven textiles in the Textiles Collection, David Westwood for his skilled photography, and Sheila Harvey for her knowledge and administration of the archives. (LB)


Muriel Rose A Modern Crafts Legacy Edited by Jean Vacher

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ISBN: 978-0-9554374-0-3 0-9554374-0-7 Published by the Crafts Study Centre Crafts Study Centre University College for the Creative Arts Falkner Road, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7DS www.csc.ucreative.ac.uk

Book design by DavidHyde@celsius.eu.com Book production by Alden Group Ltd, Witney, Oxfordshire Published October 2006 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical or otherwise, without prior permission of the publisher. The rights of Linda Brassington, Simon Olding, Barley Roscoe, Jean Vacher and Kate Woodhead to be identified as authors of this work have been asserted by them in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1998.

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Contents Foreword Kate Woodhead 

page 3

Muriel Rose: An Introduction Simon Olding

page 7

A Modern Crafts Legacy: Muriel Rose and the Crafts Study Centre Jean Vacher 

page 17

The Muriel Rose Bequest Linda Brassington

page 43

A Working Week with Muriel Rose Barley Roscoe

page 57

Bibliography

page 62

Acknowledgments 

inside back cover

Cover: Marbled pattern sample on handmade paper by Douglas Cockerell and Son, Letchworth, 1930s to 40s. Muriel Rose Archive Š Crafts Study Centre (2006).

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O Portrait photograph of Muriel Rose, circa 1950s

Muriel Rose Archive Š Crafts Study Centre (2006)

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Foreword Kate Woodhead

Muriel Rose was a woman of great character and I feel privileged to have researched her life and work. In my research I concentrated on the years of the Little Gallery, which Muriel Rose opened in 1928 at 3 Ellis Street, just off Sloane Street, Chelsea until 1935 when she moved it to a larger space at 5 Ellis Street. The gallery, one of the first to present craft as equal to art, closed in 1939, fifty years before I began my research. To supplement the archives of the Crafts Study Centre, I very much wanted to contact people who were still living and had memories of the gallery and to that end I placed letters and advertisements in various newspapers asking anyone who remembered the Little Gallery to contact me. I communicated by letter, telephone and personal interviews with many individuals: people who had worked in the gallery, who had visited and shopped at the gallery and particularly those who had exhibited their work there. Every one I contacted, without fail, praised Muriel Rose, especially for her integrity and kindness and the stringent application of high standards towards the crafts exhibited and sold at the Little Gallery. I was particularly interested in the Flint sisters who worked at the gallery and whom Muriel held in high regard. I was very fortunate to meet and interview Rose Gamble, who wrote in her book, Chelsea Child about the years of the Little Gallery, where she and her older sisters, Edith and Mary, worked. She described Muriel thus: ‘she had a very powerful presence and was difficult to please, but if she approved of you, you felt the warmth of her smile’. She related how the younger Flints would be dispatched to buy simple celadon

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O Exterior view of the Little Gallery, 5 Ellis Street, Chelsea, London, 1935-39

Muriel Rose Archive © Crafts Study Centre (2006)

green bowls from a Chinese trader in the east end of London, who at that time still operated with an abacus (the bowls cost four pence and would sell in the gallery for one shilling and sixpence) and how she would be set to work in the gallery on Saturdays repairing old patchwork quilts, because Muriel thought someone working with their hands added an air of craft activity to the ambience of the gallery. Muriel Rose’s work on behalf of the craftspeople who were part of the Little Gallery ‘team’ was considerable, and many of them are recognised as pioneers of the craft movement which revitalised crafts in the early 20th century. These included the potters Bernard Leach, Michael Cardew, Nora Braden and Katherine Pleydell-Bouverie, who worked as partners as did the textile artists, Phyllis Barron and Dorothy Larcher. Other exhibitors included Enid Marx, Ethel Mairet, Marianne Straub, Ethel Nettleship, Rachel Crompton, Catherine Cobb, Sydney Cockerell, Fred Partridge, Edward Barnsley, Eric Sharpe, Edward Gardiner and Jean Orage. Sam Smith, who later became well known for his carved and painted wooden figures, was Muriel’s protégé;

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he described Muriel as ‘a remarkable woman, with an immediate eye for separating the genuine from the spurious, and who had a way of discovering abilities in people they had not discovered for themselves’. Muriel Rose appreciated good quality craft work wherever it was found. She travelled extensively in Europe buying crafts and organising future exhibitions, including lace from Sicily and rugs from Skye. Craft items were sent from India and Mexico and she encouraged her friends and colleagues to buy suitable crafts if they found them abroad, though there was always some attendant nervousness about their reception. The gallery also promoted and exhibited the work of miners’ wives in Durham and Wales who supplied the gallery with quilted goods; high-quality quilting became very fashionable, and a prosperous market was developed which was of great financial benefit to the mining communities. Muriel and her friend Mavis Fitzrandolph (author of Traditional Quilting Batsford Ltd. 1954) had toured the mining areas and called at houses where they saw good quilted articles on the washing lines, careful not to arrive at a time when refreshments would be offered, being conscious of the low wages of the families. The great advantage of the gallery for the craftsmen and women was that it enabled them to concentrate on production, leaving the marketing in the capable hands of Muriel Rose. The Little Gallery provided a forum for illustrating and promoting the ideals of craftsmanship to a much wider public and this service she extended not only to those who had already established a reputation but to the many anonymous makers who found favour in her eyes. The exhibition and this book of essays will enable the link forged within the memories of those early years to continue and introduce the current craft world to the reputation of an extraordinary woman, Muriel Rose.

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O Marbled pattern sample on handmade paper by Douglas Cockerell and Son, Letchworth, 1930s

Muriel Rose: An Introduction Simon Olding

to 40s

Muriel Rose Archive © Crafts Study Centre (2006)

Janet Leach, writing an obituary for Crafts in 1986 1 remarked that ‘few craftsmen under the age of sixty will know who Muriel Rose was, nor be able to evaluate her importance to the fledgling craft movement’. 2 Her name is perhaps even less well known twenty years later. Yet she made a formidable contribution to the development of the crafts, in a number of capacities: as the (in all but name) Director of the Little Gallery 3 she selected what she considered to be the best of contemporary craft for sale; her work for the British Council elevated her opinions and judgements onto an international stage, with the resources and influence of a great state organisation behind her; she knew everyone who had influence in the craft world, and, it seemed, took a role on any informal or formal committee or grouping of note. Peter Cox, for example, recalls how ‘Muriel shaped key developments at Dartington after the war’,4 and she was a leading protagonist in the coterie who met to plan for the new Crafts Study Centre in the 1960s. The exhibition Muriel Rose is the Crafts Study Centre’s long awaited tribute to one of its own founder Trustees. It has been built around the objects drawn together by Rose herself for public display, principally the Centre’s permanent collections and the craft collections of the British Council. The notable archive left by Rose to the Centre has also proved a rich seam of visual and written material. Rose made her reputation on the strength of the Little Gallery. The Little Gallery holds a special place in the development of the crafts in England. Over a period of some eleven years, from 1928 to 1939, the Little Gallery set

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a trend for the sale and presentation of contemporary crafts. Muriel Rose, the senior partner, established it in Ellis Street, off Sloane Street in London. She had previously worked at the Three Shields Gallery on Holland Street, as Dorothy Hutton’s assistant. The gallery offered craft makers a dedicated space to sell work, to meet clients and to hold serious exhibitions. Whilst these facilities were readily available for fine artists, permanent ‘professional’ spaces for craft practitioners were extremely limited, even in the capital. Muriel Rose and her partner Margaret Turnbull (who she had met working on the accounts for Hutton) wanted to exhibit work ‘in which creative imagination and fine craftsmanship were combined’.5 The name of the gallery reflected its modest scale, set up in a former laundry depot. The Little Gallery opened with exhibitions of hand-printed and handwoven textiles, ceramics, Orrefors glass, decorated end papers and embroideries in linen. A notice in The Times remarked that ‘everything is on the side of reticence, the designs being simple and the colours inclining to “secondaries” and “tertiaries” in subtle combinations’.6 General displays were interspersed with special exhibitions. The first of these was of hand-printed textiles designed and made by Phyllis Barron and Dorothy Larcher, who later appointed the Little Gallery as their agent. This was followed by an exhibition of stoneware pottery by Katherine Pleydell-Bouverie and Norah Braden: experimental pieces showing the innovative use of wood ash glazes. Later exhibitions featured the work of Bernard Leach (a great friend of Rose’s), handwoven textiles by Ethel Mairet and slipware by Michael Cardew. Bernard Leach worked with her on many occasions, and they regarded each other with mutual respect. Rose wrote Leach a touching letter when she gave him a personal copy of her seminal book Artist Potters in England with ‘many many thanks for all you have taught me since our first acquaintance in 1923/4...but chiefly for everything you have done for potters in England, without which this book would have

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had no substance’.7 Ethel Mairet, the pioneer of individual hand-weaving in England, made the gallery her chosen outlet, attending in person one day a month. Slowly but surely, under Muriel Rose’s inspired, often draconian but gregarious directorship, the gallery built up an unrivalled range of high-quality craft work for sale, and matched the work to a devoted clientele. Edith Flint, along with her sister Mary, took on jobs as Rose’s assistants, and helped to run the gallery on a daily basis. Edith recalls the look of the place in a later note: ‘Suspended from rails around the showroom of The Little Gallery were lengths of hand block printed materials. Cotton, linen, silk - they were of very subtle colours and many designs. The creators of these patterns and colours were Miss P. Barron and Miss D. Larcher who worked together and Miss E. Marx who worked by herself. Only the best quality materials were used as to put all the hours of hand work into inferior materials would have been a waste of art and time’.8 Edith Flint goes on to talk about the role of craft practitioners within the life of the gallery, and how they added to its appeal and significance: ‘When there was a special show...the gallery had many visitors. The artists would be in attendance to talk to people and were kept busy explaining “how it was done”...When a show of weaving was held, a couple of looms would be put up in the Gallery, and demonstrations given. Then visitors were able to see the whole process. This was always a busy and interesting time’.9 Edith Flint concludes her recollection by saying: ‘The Little Gallery was in a world of itself...most of the customers became old friends who would sometimes come in for a few minutes for a chat and leave a cake for tea’.

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This is a scene of almost domestic harmony. It also indicates that the gallery had an important social role. The more it felt like a carefully constructed, even impeccable, metaphor for the domestic interior, the more potential there was for sales. The Little Gallery played a key role in setting the trend for post-war selling of the crafts; a precursor of that rare thing, the dedicated craft shop, and that even rarer thing, the dedicated public gallery for the presentation and selling of the crafts. The Little Gallery, through Rose’s forceful personality, and what Peter Cox called ‘the code of approval by which she operated exclusively’ 10 made an active and forceful contribution to the way that craft work was distributed and debated in the modern era. It set up an effective, if sometimes creatively tense, dynamic between the practitioner, the gallery staff and the public: the latter in the role of exhibition spectator and purchaser of goods. The maker could be biddable or mercurial, depending on personal circumstances. Bernard Leach, forever busy with a thousand commitments, might stand aside on occasion from the mechanics of display, leaving judgements of taste to Rose herself. He would take a more forceful role in mediating the display of ceramics at the Little Gallery by Shoji Hamada. He was also responsible for directly purchasing fine quality Japanese craft objects - from lacquer spoons to tea strainers - in Japan for later sale at both Dartington and the Little Gallery’.11 By contrast, Ethel Mairet was inclined to take over the gallery when she set up shop for an exhibition. The Little Gallery gave serious attention to the manner in which work was presented: scrupulous care and balance were prerequisites. High visual standards were called upon to present individual objects and groups of objects in both a thoughtful and alluring manner. The ‘curator’ and the artist shared the responsibility for this tasteful work. The inspirational focus on process

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also helped. When the public could see how the work was made (and marvel at the skills involved) they would rally to the cause of craft and give work a special place not only in their homes but in their hearts. Talking to makers emphasised the individuality of choice, the perspicacity of the buyer in seeking out the unique handmade object, and the creative integrity and passion of the maker, diligently pursuing a craft tradition, or reinventing one, sometimes against the odds. This was a fertile and creative meeting point, and the Little Gallery gave it a full expression. The Little Gallery inspired, curated and managed by Muriel Rose, set a trend and laid down an impeccable standard for the display and sale of craft work. But it also created an unofficial membership: a community of makers and a community of observer-buyers. The emphasis on quality craft objects, displayed with growing professional skill, however mannered, was linked into an educational ethos, where makers transmitted enthusiasm and technical knowledge in equal measure, not just, one feels, for the dry purpose of closing a sale, but for a higher calling: the safeguarding and cherishing of craft processes, the work involved in ensuring that the crafts had a sustainable life. In this mix of entrepreneurship, process and presentation, one can begin to see the forces gathering that were to lie behind the development of the idea of the Crafts Study Centre itself, in which Rose was to play such a vital part after the war. Rose had developed an impressive address book and had access to a broad range of the movers and shakers in the crafts world, all over the UK. This was attractive to the British Council as they deliberated with a degree of vision and courage on the concept of sending a major craft exhibition to America during the height of the Second World War. Rose was appointed as ‘Secretary of British Crafts Exhibition’ reporting to the ‘Modern British Crafts Exhibition Committee’ chaired by Sir Eric Maclagan, Director of the Victoria & Albert

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O Two illustrations from the catalogue of the touring exhibition The Exhibition of Modern British Crafts published by the British Council, London Š British Council /Crafts Study Centre (2006)

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Museum. The exhibition was sent to ten cities in America and five in Canada and comprised a series of cases with displays of related craft items grouped by materials (‘pottery’, ‘stoneware and porcelain’, embroideries’, and ‘silver’ for example), together with idealised middle class room settings arranged formulaically, and in the manner of settings in the Little Gallery itself, covering such topics as the ‘town dining room’, ‘music room’ and ‘country dining room’. In this latter display a sycamore dining table ‘designed and executed by Edward Barnsley’ was ‘lent by The Little Gallery’. Rose was to keep the table for her personal use, cutting it down to suit her diminutive stature, and finally gifting it to the Crafts Study Centre.12 The exhibition opened in the auspicious setting of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in May 1942.13 One of her first key tasks as a British Council employee was to organise another major craftbased exhibition. On this occasion the British Council joined together with the Rural Industries Bureau, the National Federation of Women’s Institutes and the Highland Home Industries in presenting the Exhibition of Rural Handicrafts from Great Britain which toured to New Zealand and Australia in 1946.14 A major consequence of the first exhibition tour (The Exhibition of Modern British Crafts) was the establishment of the British Council’s craft collection, curated by Muriel Rose who was employed by the Council as Crafts and Industrial Design Officer, a post she held until her retirement in 1957.15 The establishment of a collection was a new policy for the Council which hitherto had only collected for exhibition purposes. Muriel Rose gathered a formidable team of subject experts around her to advise on purchases for this ‘Permanent Collection of examples of Industrial Design and Crafts’, including Gordon Russell, Marianne Straub and W. B. Honey. There seems little doubt that nothing was added to the collection that did not meet her exacting standards of taste and artistic judgement. The collection is important because it

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represents the earliest effort by a governmental organisation to bring together a ‘national’ and discrete craft collection, albeit for exhibition purposes and international display. The collection is a precursor of the companion ‘national’ craft collections later established by the Crafts Study Centre and the Crafts Council. It contained notable examples of ceramics by Michael Cardew, Lucie Rie, Bernard Leach, Hans Coper, embroidery by Constance Howard and chairs by Philip Clissett (their design modified by Edward Gardiner). Muriel Rose’s interests in establishing a craft collection for posterity were most effectively realised in her contribution to the establishment of the Crafts Study Centre. She played a leading role in formulating the objectives of the Centre (described in the ‘Declaration of Trust’ as ‘the advancement of the education of the public in the arts and in particular artistic crafts’ by the means of collecting and exhibiting ‘the works of artist craftsmen’) alongside colleagues such as Robin Tanner and Marianne Straub who also joined her as Founder Trustees in 1970. She was an active Trustee, although on occasion her directness of view caused difficulties. She was a strong personality amongst strong personalities without the ultimate ability to get her own way whatever the cost. By 1976, perhaps sensing that her job had been done to good effect, and finding the travel from Essex to Bath where the Centre had its first home too taxing, she had ‘long discussions about the future of the Trust and its personalities’ 16 with J. Noel White, the Centre’s founder Chairman and resigned her position on the board. This decision heralded the end of a lifetime’s formal commitment to the advancement of craft. Muriel Rose’s contribution to the crafts was sustained by her collector’s eye, for a vision of the crafts operating in the public domain, and for the insistence on immutable standards. In her own way, and through a career rich in activity and influence, she played her own part as a pioneer of the modern craft movement.

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1 2

Janet Leach, Crafts 82, September/October 1986, p. 65. Muriel Rose was an early champion of Janet Leach’s ceramics. She said her work ‘bears the impression of her strong personality and she is gaining a leading position among post-war potters’. Muriel Rose, Artist Potters in England, Faber and Faber Limited, London, second edition, 1970 p.51.

3

This publication refers to ‘the Little Gallery’. Rose herself used a capital T and lower case t depending on circumstances. The exterior shop signs used capitals throughout.

4

Conversation with Peter Cox, April 2006. He asked Muriel Rose to select the designer for the influential exhibition Made in Devon held at Dartington Hall in 1950. She proposed Alec Heath. See Gordon Russell, ‘There is life in these local industries’, Design 21 (September 1950), pp 4-7.

5 6

Muriel Rose Archive, Crafts Study Centre. T he Times 9 October 1928. Quoted in Barley Roscoe, ‘Artist Craftswomen between the wars’, ed., Elinor G, Richardson S, Scott S, Thomas A, and Walker K, Women and Craft Virago Press Limited, London, 1987 p.142.

7 8 9

Letter from Rose to Bernard Leach, 1970, Crafts Study Centre Archive. Muriel Rose Archive, Crafts Study Centre. Muriel Rose Archive, Crafts Study Centre.

10 11 12 13

Conversation with Peter Cox. See Emmanuel Cooper, Bernard Leach: Life and Work Yale University Press, 2003, p.190. The table was exhibited in the Crafts Study Centre’s exhibition Muriel Rose 31 October 2006 to 3 November 2007. T he Exhibition of Modern British Crafts organised by the British Council, London The British Council, London.

14

See ‘The craft collection’ ed., Eccles D, and Putt, B The British Council Collection 1984-1994 London, The British Council 1995, pp 121-123.

15

The collection was reappraised by The British Council in the 1960s with the ‘rustic items’ presented to the Museum of English Rural Life at the University of Reading. In 2005-06 craft items collected in the 1980s were presented to the Crafts Study Centre, but the nucleus of Rose’s craft collection remains intact.

16

Letter form J. Noel White to Barley Roscoe, 11 October 1976. Crafts Study Centre Archive.

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O View of a Little Gallery display showing Barron and Larcher hand-printed linens with a basket

Muriel Rose Archive © Crafts Study Centre (2006)

A Modern Crafts Legacy: Muriel Rose and the Crafts Study Centre Jean Vacher

When she died in 1986 Muriel Rose left a lasting mark on the history of the modern crafts movement. Her long association with the Crafts Study Centre began in 1967 and forms a strong part of this narrative. The exhibition, Muriel Rose explores these interconnections and the legacy that she left for the Centre. What was the nature of this legacy? In a letter to her in 1976, the highly celebrated potter Bernard Leach, and lifelong friend of ‘Rose’, as she was affectionately known to those close to her, wrote: ‘You’ve no competitor, either re your little shop or into your insight re English Crafts and Craftsmen’.1 When the Crafts Study Centre was founded in 1970, Rose (1897-1986) was by this time in her early 70s and as a founding Trustee, brought to the role a formidable background in the crafts. Between 1928 and 1939 Rose co-owned and managed with Margaret Turnbull, the Little Gallery in Ellis Street, off Sloane Street in London which exhibited and sold the work of the leading artist-craftsmen and women of the day. As Kate Woodhead’s foreword to this publication shows, Rose played a major role in building the reputation of these practitioners by giving them a platform in the form of a London showroom at a time when most, if not all, were in an economically vulnerable position.

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The closure of the Little Gallery at the outbreak of World War II was closely followed by her involvement with the British Council as curator of the major The Exhibition of Modern British Crafts which opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1942 and toured the United States until 1945. It was followed in 1946 by the Exhibition of Rural Handicrafts from Great Britain which toured New Zealand and Australia. Between 1945 and 1957 she held the prestigious post of Crafts and Industrial Design Officer at the British Council. With a remit to demonstrate to the world the nature and vitality of contemporary crafts in the UK, sourcing, selecting and curating material for these exhibitions allowed her to deepen and broaden still further her knowledge of the British crafts scene. Rose was also one of the major driving forces behind the organisation of the Dartington Hall conference in 1952 that attracted international attention from potters and textile artists. In 1955 she published Artist Potters in England: the book that presented studio pottery as a defined movement for the first time. Her taste and discerning eye for quality and aesthetics is now legendary in the history of 20th century crafts. The inaugural relationship between Rose and the Crafts Study Centre was therefore a crucial factor in determining its direction. To attract donations for the collections, the exhibition 20th Century Craftsmanship was held in 1970 at the Holburne Museum of Menstrie 2 in Bath. The exhibition was driven by Rose along with the other co-founders including Robin Tanner, Henry Hammond and Marianne Straub. These donations form the nucleus of today’s collections. The credibility that she had established as a dealer in crafts during the mid-decades of the 20th century, showing the works at the Little Gallery of the very makers who were to support the Crafts Study Centre in its embryonic stages, meant that she was now acting as broker. Her deep

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Bowl, porcelain,

P

matt glaze, brushed decoration of grasses by moonlight in cobalt and iron, 8.25 x 13 centimetres Henry Hammond, 1960 Gifted to the Crafts Study Centre by Muriel Rose P.74.39 © Crafts Study Centre (2006)

knowledge of, and sympathy with, the crafts of that period inspired trust in her ability to establish a 20th century collection and archive for posterity. For example, Bernard Leach gifted nearly 100 pots in 1976. These spanned his career, and were shortly followed by his source collection of English but mostly Far Eastern pots that he had amassed for inspiration. By this time Bernard Leach (1887-1979) was close to the end of his life and in his desire to see this collection used for an educational purpose to support an understanding of his work, became increasingly anxious to settle his affairs on this matter before his ‘sight began to fail’. In a letter to Muriel Rose in the late 1970s he wrote: ‘The more I have considered the matter, the more I have come to the conclusion that the omission of examples of work from the past which has proved vital in stimulus to craftsmen of the present century, is losing an opportunity of

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O Hexagonal box with slightly domed lid, oxidised stoneware, pale greenish blue under transparent glaze, incised ‘BL’ and crosshatching on three sides, seaweed motif on lid, 6 centimetres

Bernard Leach, 1935

Gifted to the Crafts Study Centre by Muriel Rose P.74.7 © John Leach/Crafts Study Centre (2006)

O Cup and stand, porcelain, engraved celadon glaze, 7.3 x 12 centimetres Unknown maker, Koryo dynasty (935 to 1392), Korea Bernard Leach Source Collection Gifted to the Crafts Study Centre by Bernard Leach

© Crafts Study Centre (2006)

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showing the public the connection between twentieth century craftsmen and the past. In my case, as a potter, perhaps I feel as strongly as anybody if not more so, that this is losing an important link. I wish you would put this letter before your committee...I have offered in the past to give of my best Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc., pots for this very purpose. They were collected by a potter for his own education, and I think their influence can be seen in the work of many potters besides myself. It may be that the request cannot be granted for one reason or another, but in that case, I would like to be assured of the reason and thus be freed to make other plans, regretfully’.3 As his last wife, Janet had the job of coordinating the selection of pots for the Crafts Study Centre. She wrote in 1977: ‘I know originally that Bath did not anticipate having pots other than those made by a select group of English craftsmen. Bernard seems to have the idea that the Museum should also exhibit the pots which inspired him... This desire to select for Bath is almost an obsession with Bernard’.4 Donations or pledges of donations came from Katherine Pleydell-Bouverie, Robin Tanner, Rita Beales, Margaret Pilkington and others, many of whom had not only made crafts, but had collected the works of other leading practitioners of the time which they were prepared to hand over to the Crafts Study Centre. The Bernard Leach pots described above were shortly followed by the gift of almost his entire archive of some 15,000 items that included diaries, photographs, published and unpublished text, correspondence and material relating to the Leach Pottery at St Ives, and was to set the scene for archives of other practitioners which have flowed into the Centre’s collections. Muriel Rose was tireless in her support for the Crafts Study Centre in advising and helping to seek out donations. In 1971 she wrote in a letter to Robin Tanner:

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O Detail of evening jacket, fawn French silk velvet ground, hand block-

‘P.S. I’ve met Irene Wellington several times recently* - quite outstanding in the calligraphy world, I think. I believe she would be a useful addition

printed with positive

to our ‘panel’. She knows about as much about Johnston and all he left

prints in red and black

behind. Let me know what you think.

Phyllis Barron & Dorothy Larcher Gifted to the Crafts Study Centre by Muriel Rose

T.74.17 © Crafts Study Centre (2006)

*Told her about our ‘project’ and she was very sympathetic and offered at least one small piece of EJ’s writing’.5 As a collector and a connoisseur, Rose had amassed her own collection of historic and contemporary crafts. Between 1970 and up to her death in 1986 she either donated or pledged as a bequest, works by the leading makers of the era. These objects also contributed to forming the core of the Centre’s collections and included works by Bernard Leach, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, Shoji Hamada, Michael Cardew, Nora Braden, William Staite Murray, Henry Hammond and Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie, Michael Casson and Richard Batterham in ceramics; Ethel Mairet, Rita Beales, Eve Simmonds and Ethel Nettleship, Gwen and Barbara Mullins in textiles; Edward Gardiner, Ernest Gimson, Edward Barnsley, and Fred Partridge in furniture and wood; Paul Cooper in metalwork and Edward Johnston and Irene Wellington in calligraphy. Some of these items, shown in this exhibition for the first time, give particular context to both Muriel Rose and the history of the Crafts Study Centre. For example, Rose wrote in a letter to Robin Tanner in 1971, with reference to their planned exhibition 20th Century Craftmanship: ‘At the autumn show I could lend at least 6 Leach pots of top exhibition quality. They were all, I think in the Arts Council exhibition and are intended ultimately for the collection. This might be easier than trying to get some from St Ives. I also have a fine - very simple big Barnsley table in golden sycamore (used to be in middle of room, or elsewhere in Little G). I also have some

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Edward Gardiner rushseated ladder back chairs - somewhat assorted and other things that might fill in gaps’.6 The above quotation also leads on to Rose’s other contribution to the Crafts Study Centre: methods of displaying handmade crafts. In common with the Crafts Study Centre’s other founding members and crafts makers of the era, there was a shared belief that handmade crafts should be displayed alongside one another and in a context in which they were intended to be used, appreciated and enjoyed in a domestic environment. This method of display was not new and had been employed in a commercial context by the Red Rose Guild in their shows in the Houldsworth Hall in Manchester in the first half of the 20th century, and by Rose in the Little Gallery and the British Council touring exhibitions where entire room settings were created in an exhibition context. Extensive visual evidence of this method of display is held in the Centre’s Muriel Rose Archive in the form of promotional material relating to exhibitions, photographs of exhibitions and of room layouts. However, it was a new phenomenon for a public collection. Elsewhere, the crafts were collected, categorised according to material or technique and often displayed by the museum in isolation, or else subsumed in ethnography or social history collections. Thus the Centre’s displays in Bath showed Barron and Larcher hand-block printed lengths alongside Michael Cardew cider jars, and Edward Barnsley furniture. Rose’s acclaimed eye for the crafts and lifelong experience of purchasing and sourcing items for the Little Gallery and for the British Council exhibitions brought specialist skills to the embryonic Crafts Study Centre. In a letter to Robin Tanner in 1971 she comments on a shopping trip on behalf of the CSC to purchase ceramics financed by herself and other members of the committee from a forthcoming exhibition in Cambridge.7 She modestly writes:

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‘...that means that you will have to rely on my choosing - a big responsibility, even if I find anything, I think... (If Lucie Rie is there I will consult her about other people’s pots and possibly her own. She has a highly critical eye). My experience has been that the best potters, for the most part, do not send their very best pots to such a mixed show, they save them up for one man shows - but I think that this may not apply to Cardew, whose recent work I hear is up to his best former standards but in stoneware and there no doubt will be some good ones from others. She will only opt for items of “enduring quality”, and feels “very conscious of the trust you place in me in suggesting I should lay out money in this way”.’ 8 This essay is in part about Muriel Rose and the resulting benefits to the Crafts Study Centre of her association as a founding trustee in the early 1970s. However, the exhibition also contains selected pieces from her archive, which came to the Centre on her death in 1986. In terms of providing an informed historical narrative of the crafts in the inter-war period and beyond, this has wider implications for researchers. Although the material supports an understanding of the Crafts Study Centre’s own collections, it presents Rose as having a more eclectic engagement with the crafts and the people who populated that era, than through the lens of the Crafts Study Centre collections alone. The Archive also conveys a flavour of the times through the numerous press cuttings (including some written by the novelist and Times art critic, Charles Marriott). These include articles from national and regional newspapers and lifestyle magazines reviewing displays and exhibitions in the Little Gallery, and arguably reflect the crafts as being embraced in more diverse ways than today. Chronologically the Archive contains material covering the period 1928 to the late 1970s and contains over 1,600 items. The bulk of this relates to the

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time when Rose co-owned and managed the Little Gallery from 1928-39 with Margaret Turnball, and was concurrently involved in the Rural Industries Bureau (RIB) scheme to revitalise the quilting industries in the mining areas of Durham and South Wales. This area has been extensively researched by Kate Woodhead and presented in her unpublished thesis Muriel Rose and the Little Gallery.9 The Little Gallery period also includes material relating to her travels to Eastern and Northern Europe and to her interests in collecting crafts from abroad. There are specific information-rich items, such as an order book (1938-40) that opens a range of directions in which further research could be taken. Material covering the period 1940 to the late 1970s includes her employment with the British Council in the 1940s and her involvement of a more political nature, with the advocacy of the crafts in art school education in the early 1960s and communications with the Gwen Mullins Trust. There are groups of correspondence with a number of leading makers and friends throughout the whole period. The Archive also includes a small number of her books and catalogues. It is beyond the scope of this essay to describe the Archive in full, especially such rich seams of research as the correspondence she received from leading makers of the day.10 This includes the potters Bernard Leach, William Staite Murray and Shoji Hamada, wallpaper designers John Aldridge and Edward Bawden, Raymond Erith who designed the interior of the Little Gallery, toymaker Sam Smith, cut-letterer David Kindersley and puppeteer William Simmonds. Neither is it possible to list the names of the milieu of people who are an important source of information for crafts historians seeking to understand how the crafts movement was shaped by those involved at the time. I have therefore identified three areas of interest which link to the displays in this exhibition, and which provide a taste of what the Archive holds. These areas include the Little Gallery, her work with the RIB and the British Council. They also incorporate items which support an informed understanding of the Crafts Study Centre collections.

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Advertisement for

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Christmas shopping at the Little Gallery Muriel Rose Archive © Crafts Study Centre (2006)

The Little Gallery The Archive is particularly interesting in terms of the insight that it gives into branches of the crafts not directly connected to handmade objects, where for the most part one individual is in control of all branches of the making processes and the object carries the maker’s name. Rose’s commitment to quality was not unambiguously determined by handmade pieces associated with a named maker. She was interested, like the textile artist Enid Marx 11 and others at the time, in the whole phenomena of a fast vanishing world of folk art, rural crafts and artist-craftsmanship as understood in an ethnography context. To this extent she became traveller, collector, retailer and connoisseur of material that spanned the world from Mexico to Japan, India and Europe. This is reflected in the Archive by a wide range of published and unpublished

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O View of a Little Gallery display showing embroidered tablecloth, glasses and flowers

Muriel Rose Archive © Crafts Study Centre (2006)

O Dessert knives and forks, stainless steel with ivory handles, silver piqué decoration Catherine Cobb, mid 1930s Gifted to the Crafts Study Centre in 1972 by Catherine Cobb

M.74.6.a-d © Crafts Study Centre (2006)

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items relating to her trips to Europe and to the exhibitions held at the Little Gallery, showing for example, the work of Japanese craftspeople, selected by Hamada. The Little Gallery retailed high-quality standard ware such as Wedgwood and English, French and Italian ‘rustic’ or ‘art pottery’ based on good design and the use of quality materials. Much of the Continental ware was sourced through Crittall at their Manor Works in Braintree and included salt glaze and Uzes ware from the French Mediterranean in the form of tableware, ashtrays and flower pots. Orrefors engraved glass came directly from their factory in the south east of Sweden and included such items as decanters and liqueur glasses and was displayed alongside Swedish tableware and Fontana Arte glass from Milan. Other products included hand-painted, lustre, early morning tea sets made by Wedgwood and other examples of English art pottery; beer and cider and mugs inscribed with homilies such as ‘God Speed the Plough’ and decorated figuratively with agricultural implements and rural scenes, made in Bristol and Burton-on-Trent. This can be appreciated through a nucleus of material in the Archive that includes correspondence with suppliers, orders and trade catalogues from such manufacturers as Ceramique d’Art, Rustique et Provencale, Pichon and Uzes, press cuttings advertising ‘The genuine English Stoneware. Traditional shapes to modern finish’ by Hartley’s (Castleford) Limited of Yorkshire, together with a small group of photographs showing displays of these products at the Little Gallery. It demonstrates that quality for Rose did not rest purely upon the cult of the individual artist-craftsperson but could encompass highquality production lines. Handmade crafts from abroad of an ethnographic nature were also sold at the Little Gallery. Rose, like many of her contemporaries, belonged to a band of

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O Cut-sided jar (10 sides) with domed lid, stoneware, tenmoku glaze, 12.1 x 9.2 centimetres Shoji Hamada, 1930s, Mashiko, Japan Gifted to the Crafts Study Centre by Muriel Rose P.74.39 Š Shinsaku Hamada/Crafts Study Centre (2006)

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View of the

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Exhibition of Recent Work by Five Japanese Craftsmen held at the Little Gallery, Chelsea, London in 1933 and organised by Shoji Hamada Muriel Rose Archive Š Crafts Study Centre (2006)

women who, since the 19th century, had travelled and collected textiles from around the world. This she shared in common with the textile artists of the period such as Ethel Mairet and the Barron and Larcher partnership, whose work is represented in the CSC collections, both in terms of their own work and their collections of historic material. A substantial group of these historic textiles were bequeathed by Rose to the then West Surrey College of Art and Design, now University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham, for their Textile Handling Collection and is a subject explored by Linda Brassington in this publication. In 1930 an exhibition was held at the Little Gallery showing the work of Barron and Larcher juxtaposed with their collection of historic textiles, which received favourable reviews from the London press, with one newspaper describing it as:

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O Model wearing a necklace made of ‘Indian gold and coral’ and representative of the type sold at the Little Gallery Muriel Rose Archive

© Crafts Study Centre (2006)

Model wearing a quilted dressing gown, 1930s to 1940s. The garment was made using hand-quilted material produced in the mining areas of South Wales Muriel Rose Archive

© Crafts Study Centre (2006)

O Engraved glass decanter and sherry glasses, possibly Orrefors glass Muriel Rose Archive

© Crafts Study Centre (2006)

Printed papers sold at the Little Gallery as lampshades and covers for stationery Muriel Rose Archive

© Crafts Study Centre (2006)

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‘a small but fascinating collection of Indian, French and English printed cottons...with two particularly fine Indian examples, one bearing the cartouche of the East India Company, several examples of work by Oberkamph’s factory at Jouy near Versailles and some dark green Provence pieces. The collection has been made by two modern designers of block-printed stuffs, Miss Phyllis Barron and Dorothy Larcher, who are producing new designs with the old techniques, and their work forms an interesting comparison with that of the old block printers’.12 The Archive also contains a substantial group of material relating to Rose’s travels to Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Germany, France, Italy and Portugal, where in her own words she was in touch with the leading designers and craftsmen in those countries. This material includes letters of introduction, travel guides and trade catalogues. Material relating to exhibitions held at the Little Gallery from tableware displays to solo shows of artist-craftsmen and women, built on Rose’s engagement with the crafts. These include published reviews and the gallery’s own promotional material. A series of printed exhibition cards and folded paper flyers, for example, details all the exhibitions held during the period that the gallery was in business, ranging from jewellery by Catherine Cockerell, including necklaces, simple brooches, rings, ivory and crystal jewellery to an exhibition of traditional Japanese crafts: lacquer work, baskets, papers, textiles and pottery, chosen by Bernard Leach during his visit to Japan and Nora Braden and Katherine Pleydell-Bouverie’s glazed and unglazed stoneware bulb bowls, flower pots and jars. This exhibition includes examples from the Archive of the high-quality printed material that was retailed at the Little Gallery. The revival in taste for quality-crafted books and material by William Morris in the 19th century

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and taken forward into the 20th century by Sidney and Douglas Cockerell, was fully understood and appreciated by Muriel Rose. This was reflected in the merchandise of the Little Gallery and includes sample books of vividlycoloured plain, textured, embossed and marbled papers sourced from supplies in the UK and Italy. Hand-block printed patterned paper using designs by Enid Marx, Dorothy Larcher and Alice Hindson, much of which was bought in for the Christmas trade, were made using hand-cut wooden blocks. An article in the Birmingham Daily, 11 December 1929 describes how they were used: ‘...the prettiest collection of unusual gifts at the LG run by two “women artists”. Patterned papers formerly only used by Italian bookbinders. English people have been making them with great success. LG show these used in hundreds of different ways with great effect. Card-index boxes for recipes, nests of gift boxes, cases and portfolios and notebooks, wrapping paper for gifts, Japanese paper tape for tying up parcels’.13 Striking patterns of handmade marbled paper made by Douglas Cockerell & Son, Letchworth Press were also used to make pleated lampshades. The sumptuousness of these papers evokes the fine appreciation that Rose had for quality printed material. Exquisite, richly-coloured designs by the Curwen Press including designs by Paul Nash, Edward Bawden and Lovat Fraser and sparkling Christmas designs by Alice Hindson of metallic motifs on a red or green ground, were sold in sheets of various sizes ranging in price from six to nine pence per sheet. Again, the Archive contains associated material such as photographs, published articles and reviews on the Little Gallery, to support an understanding of this area of the arts and crafts.

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Welsh quilter at

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work, 1930s to 40s Muriel Rose Archive © Crafts Study Centre (2006)

The Rural Industries Bur eau In 1929 Rose became actively involved with the RIBs in a scheme to help the socially and economically depressed areas of the Durham and South Wales coalfields. This highly successful venture was part of the Government’s wider post-war reconstruction scheme aimed at encouraging a broad range of ruralbased crafts. It sought to provide employment for women engaged in the hand-quilting industry in areas where it had survived as a cottage industry. The scheme also encouraged the setting up of classes where the experience of an older generation of quilters would be passed down to younger women with less experience, who wanted to learn the craft. Poverty itself had destroyed the traditional local market for quilts, and the London market opened up an exciting new outlet. Rose toured the colliery villages and surrounding districts of South Wales and Northern England with the RIB’s appointed officer, Mavis Fitzrandolph to act as adviser on which families to commission for orders. Visiting quilters’ homes, she had the dual task of seeking out quality workmanship and assessing the

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level of social neediness of each family. Orders were taken for the London market, including the Little Gallery. The Archive reflects this crossover through a small but significant body of material. This includes: pamphlets on the history and techniques of handquilting; photographs of the quilts which the Little Gallery retailed; an album of photographs taken by Rose whilst on her visits in the South Wales coalfields of quilters at work and examples of designs, some of them annotated; advertisements for Country Industries Limited, London and the quilters’ other London outlets; and material relating to the quilt exhibitions held at the Little Gallery. A small, black and nondescript-looking cashbook which Rose begun in 1934 for recording her observations of the families whom she visited provides meaningful insight into the times. These field notes record the social circumstances of each family she visited, with comments on the designs used, quality of work and level of competence, and sketches of the designs used by the quilters. Most entries contain a brief account of the social conditions of each family that she visited and whether or not they wanted work and how much they needed work: “good for pillowcases”, “does good cushions”, “might do mats”, “small pretty patterns”, “Uses actual sea shells and draws round them”, “Does feathers with a decoration inside”, “good pattern”. Fine stitches interlacing ‘church windows’ ‘roses at edge’- Mrs Fletcher, Croxdale “Needy - 4 years all family out of work in bed with gastric ulcer” and in pencil “still ill Feb 1936”. Another: “Husband has left her. Has one boy in work”. Another: “husband in temporary work dismantling colliery”. Another: “Very needy. 11 children. Looked v ill. Mental child.”. Comments on designs and quality of work and teaching: “Teaches 3 classes” “Mother taught”.14

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The British Council 194 0-57 Rose curated two major touring, selling exhibitions of contemporary crafts for the British Council. The first, The Exhibition of Modern British Crafts organised by the British Council, opened in 1942 at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, at the height of World War II. The second, Exhibition of Rural Handicrafts from Great Britain, in partnership with the RIB, the National Federation of Women’s Institutes and Highland Home Industries, began its tour of New Zealand and Australia in 1946. The message carried by the 1942 exhibition was by nature propagandist, and intended to demonstrate that despite the War, the country was able to preserve an English way of life. Based on contextualised room-setting and groups of materials, both exhibitions brought together, in a somewhat idealised way, objects made by anonymous rural crafts people, manufacturers and named practitioners of the day. The architect Oliver Hill acknowledged the distinction when he wrote a description for the 1942-45 exhibition: ‘Our prime object in this exhibition is to give encouragement to the living craftsman, both studio artist and anonymous worker’.15 Objects in the exhibition ranged from highly-decorative bargee art 16, basketry, corn-dollies, agricultural implements, toys, musical instruments, books and objects made from a wide range of materials which included pottery, wood, metal, textiles, glass, metal and textiles. Town and country lifestyles were represented and juxtaposed in the room settings created by Rose.17 Again, the Archive presents a strong narrative of the times, through photographs of the exhibitions, press reviews of the hosting countries and Rose’s own unpublished report on the 1942-45 exhibition. In fact, the views that Muriel Rose expressed in this report were portentous for the birth of the

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O Views of Muriel Rose arranging displays at The Exhibition of Modern British Crafts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1942 Muriel Rose Archive

Š Crafts Study Centre (2006)

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Crafts Study Centre in which she was to play a major role 25 years later when she wrote: ‘An exhibit showing domestic objects, pottery and glass, chairs, tables, books and textiles, particularly when grouped in arrangements suggesting rooms, does not present the barrier of strangeness many feel in regard to modern painting, and a collection of this kind is at once closely related to the daily life of visitors of every sort’. This was very much how the objects were displayed at the Centre’s first home in Bath. Of the ‘special groups’ who came to the exhibition she noted the value of crafts objects as a teaching resource for universities and schools: ‘ “The most important” of these special groups were the “educational bodies”. Many of the museums in which we showed, have excellent collaboration with their local university and schools, and the exhibit was used by the teachers of art, handwork and home economics and even sometimes by classes in English and journalism...In many ways I feel this was the most valuable showing of the tour. I think it would be worth the committee’s while to consider the advisability of sending other shows of small enough size and cost to be handled by university museums of which there are a large number covering every part of the country’. She was also aware of the potency of handling crafts objects in an educational context when she remarked: ‘In each city there were also just a few practising craftsmen who could appreciate and discuss the work from the more technical angle. It was usually possible to arrange for such people to handle the exhibits in which

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they were interested and to see them in a way that is not usually possible in museums. These artists were almost invariably full of enthusiasm and often surprise, and found the show stimulating to their own work...Works were reserved by museums. The University of Minnesota bought the group of technical books on the crafts as well as a good deal of pottery and some textiles’.18 The establishment of a collection of crafts items, which could be enjoyed and understood in a tactile way by students, researchers and public alike, was very much at the heart of the aims and objectives of the Centre’s Founding Trustees. Evidence of the legacy that Muriel Rose left the Crafts Study Centre is therefore substantial. Owing to the lack of attention paid to her since her death, she has remained a somewhat shadowy figure in craft history books. It is hoped that this book will contribute to an understanding of her contribution to both the crafts movement of the 20th century, and her relationship with the nascent Crafts Study Centre in the 1970s. Janet Leach wrote to Rose in 1976: ‘I am delighted that the Museum is really going forward and I am sure that you must be relieved after working for it for so many years. Although other people have helped, I know it would not have ever come into existence without your inspiration and leadership’.19

1 2

Letter from Bernard Leach to Muriel Rose, 28 May 1976, unpublished. Muriel Rose Archive, Crafts Study Centre. Exhibition catalogue, 20th century craftsmanship: Work by Artist Craftmen of the Twentieith Century, Crafts Study Centre, 1972.

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3 4 5

Letter from Bernard Leach to Muriel Rose, undated, unpublished. Muriel Rose Archive, Crafts Study Centre. Letter from Janet Leach to Muriel Rose, 17 May 1976, unpublished. Muriel Rose Archive, Crafts Study Centre. Letter from Muriel Rose to Robin Tanner, 23 March 1971, unpublished. Crafts Study Centre Archive. The initials ‘EJ’ refer to the calligrapher, Edward Johnston.

6 7 8 9

Letter from Muriel Rose to Robin Tanner, 22 March 1971, unpublished. Crafts Study Centre Archive. This shopping was for the newly-opened Kettle’s Yard art gallery and former home of Jim and Helen Ede. Letter from Muriel Rose to Robin Tanner, 3 June 1971, unpublished. Crafts Study Centre Archive. Woodhead, Kate, Muriel Rose and the Little Gallery, unpublished M.A. thesis, Victoria and Albert Museum/ Royal College of Art, 1989.

10

Collection level descriptions of the Crafts Study Centre archives, including the Muriel Rose Archive can be seen on the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) website: www.archiveshub.ac.uk .

11

Enid Marx formed a collection of British popular folk art with her contemporary, Margaret Lambert. Their collection is now shown at Compton Verney Art Gallery in South Warwickshire.

12 13 14

Press cutting, probably from a London newspaper, undated. Muriel Rose Archive, Crafts Study Centre. Press cutting, The Birmingham Daily, 11 December 1929. Travel journal kept by Muriel Rose, ‘Visit to Durham to see quilters with Mrs FitzRandolph, 7 July 1934’. Inserted about half way through the book: ‘Visit to Wales with Mrs Fitzrandolph 28 October 1949. Taken by car by Francis Davies, Rural Community Council & R.I.B. Officer’ Muriel Rose Archive, unpublished. Muriel Rose Archive, Crafts Study Centre.

15

Typewritten transcript, ‘Exhibition of British Craftsmanship 1940’ by Oliver Hill. Muriel Rose Archive, Crafts Study Centre.

16

Bargee art refers to the domestic ware and boats used and decorated by the group of people who lived and worked on the English canal system in the 19th and early part of the 20th century.

17

Around 200 of the rustic items included in this exhibition were presented by the British Council in 1960 to the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL), University of Reading.

18

Rose, Muriel, The British Arts and Crafts Exhibition, U.S.A. and Canada, 1942-45, Miss Roses’s Report to the Fine Art Committee, 15 November 1945, unpublished report. Muriel Rose Archive, Crafts Study Centre.

19

Letter from Janet Leach to Muriel Rose, 17 May 1977. Muriel Rose Archive, Crafts Study Centre.

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O Textiles from the Muriel Rose Bequest Above: Detail of

The Muriel Rose Bequest Linda Brassington

bedcover, hand-quilted silk with wool fleece interlining, British Isles, circa 1930s probably

In July 1986 Deryn O’Connor wrote a letter of thanks for the Muriel Rose

commissioned from rural

bequest:

quilters in Wales or Durham, or by the Rural Industries Bureau 6123 © The Textiles Collection, University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham

Centre: Detail of plain, coarse cloth, hand-spun

‘Yesterday I showed all the treasures from Coggeshall to my colleagues... Muriel Rose had a wonderful feeling for textiles so that even though some of the items are rather worn they are each lovely examples of their kind’.1 Muriel Rose had gifted her textiles for inclusion in the Textile Department’s study collection at the West Surrey College of Art and Design, now the

linen, Russia, circa early

University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham. In her letter Deryn

20th century

O’Connor, then Principal Lecturer, explained the particular educational

3499 © The Textiles Collection, University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham

Below: Detail of fruit

value of the bequest for the Textiles Collection: ‘When Miss [Ella] McLeod founded our Department...she was concerned that we should have beautiful textiles for the students to study closely, and

net, hand-knotted

gradually we have built up our collection...as an important part of our

cotton, British Isles,

new art school built in the 1970s. We use items from the collection all the

circa late 19th century

time, bringing them out during particular teaching sessions or putting on

6158 © The Textiles Collection,

displays in our Department...’.2

University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham

Ella McLeod was a pioneer in textiles education. In 1947, as Head of the Craft Department at Howell’s School, Denbigh, she wrote to the Secretary of the Bray Committee querying whether the section on wool weaving hand in the 1937 Ministry of Education Handbook on Examination was being implemented in the National Diploma in Art:

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O Display of exhibits in Timeless Textiles, James Hockey Gallery, Farnham, 1986, including contemporary work by Issey Miyake (garment owned by Ella McLeod), Stella Benjamin (handwoven floorcovering), Diana Harrison (quilted and sprayed wall piece) and Peter Collingwood (sprang woven panel) The Textiles Collection Archive, University College for the Creative

‘I advocate no “back to the hand-loom and away from industry” policy,

Arts at Farnham

© John Knight

but maintain that until a person is both sensitive and skilful in the building of woollen cloth...aware of all the complex and subtle variations that lie hidden from the visual designer’s consciousness, no textile designing worthy of the name is possible’.3 She goes on to suggest that: ‘...this explains why our outstanding cloth designers occur from inside the industry, which at least gives first hand experience, though perhaps crushing more aesthetic ability than it fosters’.4 By 1949 Ella McLeod had established textiles at Farnham School of Art and continued as Head of Department until 1973. Significantly, receipt of the Muriel Rose bequest coincided with the preparation of a forthcoming exhibition in the James Hockey Gallery at Farnham. In her

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Display of exhibits

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in Timeless Textiles, James Hockey Gallery, Farnham, 1986, including textiles from the Muriel Rose Bequest The Textiles Collection Archive, University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham © John Knight

Left: Quilted patchwork bedcover of cotton calico prints, Minneapolis, USA, circa 19th/20th century 7985 The Textiles Collection, University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham Centre: Striped warp ikat,

retirement, Ella McLeod had been invited to choose examples she considered timeless textiles. Deryn O’Connor wrote, ‘The nucleus of this exhibition will

hand woven indigo-dyed

be from our departmental collection and I am sure that Ella McLeod will

cotton, Sumatra, circa

want to include some textiles from the Muriel Rose gift’.5 The exhibition

19th/20th century

catalogue made particular reference to the bequest that had ‘greatly enriched’

2367 The Textiles Collection, University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham

the Textiles Collection.6 Timeless Textiles: from many periods and peoples, curated by Ann Dolley and Deryn O’Connor, was ‘a personal choice by someone who is fascinated by the starkness of cloth made for utility...and the exuberance of decoration that arises as a counterpoise to a hard, bleak life...’.7 Ella McLeod included some of the newly-acquired examples from the Muriel Rose bequest. Magnificent American quilted patchwork bedcovers were displayed alongside indigo-dyed ikat from Indonesia. Fine silk tapestry from south east Europe contrasted with heavy linen and hemp from Russia.

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O Detail of shawl from the Muriel Rose Bequest, handwoven from handspun cashmere, Kashmir, 19th century exhibited in Timeless Textiles, James Hockey Gallery, Farnham, 1986 59 Š The Textiles Collection, University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham

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A long table in the centre of the gallery showed ‘some of the most delicate textiles ever produced’.8 This section of the exhibition was designed to encourage visitors to ‘handle and feel’,9 emphasising the tactile element of all textiles. In 1986, a ‘please do not touch’ approach dominated exhibition design, especially in textiles. While the development of handling collections in recent years has begun to provide a richer museum and gallery experience, the facility was rarely available twenty years earlier. It is significant that items from the Muriel Rose bequest were selected for this handling section. They included a Kashmir shawl made of hand-spun cashmere goat fleece, woven with small bobbins in a tapestry technique ‘so that the decoration and the cream ground are equally part of the structure’.10 The shawl was not presented as a technical example. Rather, it was the quality of the textile in spite of its technique that made it special. While tapestry is usually associated with a hard, flat cloth, ‘its amazing achievement is that it is so flexible’.11 Japanese kimono cloth produced from ramie fibre, was presented as the product of a craft tradition where ‘fibre, looms and working methods have remained uniform’.12 Muriel Rose sourced textiles from many countries Mexican Indian rugs, Adire cloths from West Africa, handwoven textiles from Madras, lace from Sicily, embroideries from Eastern Europe. She bought textiles from traditional workshops in many corners of the British Isles - rugs from crofters in the Isle of Skye, rush table mats from Norfolk, English embroideries by the Fisherton de la Mere class, traditional quilts ‘made in the distressed mining areas of Durham and Wales’.13 The kimono cloth, made in the 1930s, illustrated ‘the individual quality that emerges within the tightest of traditions’,14 unchanging over generations before the Second World War. The outbreak of war had consequences for the crafts

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on both sides of the globe. In 1941, Mary Thomas from Pontypridd wrote to Muriel Rose: ‘At last the cream quilt is ready for dispatch...Very sorry price of wool is so high. It is what I am charged without carriage and it looks as though no more will be available until this war is over’.15 Muriel Rose had made a significant contribution to the crafts, as a supporter of rural industries and as a patron of pioneering twentieth century studio practice. Timeless Textiles represented traditional pieces in her collection. French household linens, English and Welsh blankets and Shetland shawls were to be appreciated alongside early twentieth century makers - Elizabeth Peacock, Phyllis Barron and Dorothy Larcher - and new work by Issey Miyake, Peter Collingwood, Stella Benjamin and others, who Ella McLeod described as ‘modern craftsmen who discover their own discipline within which to explore’.16 In her view: ‘From what they have discovered through most deliberate and involved making, they contribute to the qualities of contemporary living’.17 This principle was central to her philosophy for education in the crafts. Margaret Bide, Ella McLeod’s successor as Head of Department, described her as an ‘initiator’ who, as a consequence, ‘found herself involved with numerous national and international organisations’.18 Ella McLeod and Muriel Rose worked alongside each other in the Society for Education through Art, at the Gwen Mullins Trust and as members of the establishing group of the Museum and Study Centre of Twentieth Century Crafts that later became the Crafts Study Centre. It was appropriate that Muriel Rose should wish to bequeath her textiles to Farnham for the purpose of study.

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Kimono cloths from P the Muriel Rose Bequest, handwoven ramie, Japan, circa 1930s exhibited in Timeless Textiles, James Hockey Gallery, Farnham, 1986 3498 Š The Textiles Collection, University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham

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O Detail of scarf from the Muriel Rose Bequest, hand block-printed on fine wool, designed and made by Phyllis Barron and Dorothy Larcher, British Isles, circa 1930s to 40s exhibited in Timeless Textiles, James Hockey Gallery, Farnham, 1986 8013 Š The Textiles Collection, University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham

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In October 1960 the Gwen Mullins Trust had organised a conference on the theme The apprenticeship of craftsmen in established workshops and the relationship of training to present art school practice. Together, the trustees had contributed to a summary report of the discussion compiled by Muriel Rose. It stated: ‘...although “art” is now recognised as a necessary part of the school curriculum, the crafts are as yet little understood or regarded in general or training college education, and suffer particularly from the expectation that one person can reach adequately a number of unrelated crafts. This implies acceptance of superficial knowledge, of acquaintance with several crafts, rather than the depth of insight through continuous experience of one craft - a view contrary to the personal experience of all present’.19 An exhibition review in 1986 referred to Timeless Textiles as one of a series of ‘almost infuriatingly high-quality exhibitions mounted by the Department of Textiles’.20 The reviewer challenged a perception that he saw reflected in the exhibits - that ‘industrial production, which has removed the element of drudgery from utilitarian manufacture and led to a revolution in the living standards of the vast majority, is linked to a loss of standards and values’.21 In reply, Ella McLeod wrote: ‘I rejoice that we can all afford to buy the cloth of our machine age...But now that material goods of all kinds are far cheaper relative to earning power than in pre-industrial times, we discard and replace, not treasure and mend. (Who would now patch a grain sack?). There has been a revolution in values’.22 Examples of industrially-produced textiles were not excluded from the exhibition. The machine ‘can produce cloth as good as the industrial designer envisages and which the consumers make economically viable’.23 Crucially,

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in Ella McLeod’s view, the best examples of manufactured textiles ‘owe much to accumulated knowledge and sensibility’,24 particularly of fibres and yarns. Timeless Textiles included work by Barron and Larcher, makers who Muriel Rose had presented at the Little Gallery throughout the 1920s and 30s, and had consistently promoted. A hand-block printed and stencilled scarf on fine French Rodier woollen cloth served to illustrate manufacturers who are ‘epicures in their selection of good yarn for cloth’,25 and celebrated those individual craftsmen who ‘seek good cloths on which to dye and print’.26 The scarf demonstrated a fusion of printed and woven textiles of the highest quality. The reviewer argued that the ‘splendid examples of craftsmanship at its very best’27 only presented one side of a dichotomy - while craftspeople are expected to share present day living standards, ‘such craftwork has a price tag that only a minority can afford’.28 The commercial viability and success of the Little Gallery had demonstrated a market for quality craft products in the early twentieth century. In the context of education and employment in the 1980s, Ella McLeod responded: ‘The finest raw material, skilfully and sensitively wrought by whatever means is a rarity, and can be no other. So has its price tag...The quarterounce Shetland lace shawl cost more than a year’s old age pension when it was made...the seamless white toga of a Roman patrician cost the equivalent of what a common man would eat in two years. The price tag of the modern craftsman is modest indeed! Only five of the current contemporary exhibits exceed a mere three weeks of the national average wage’.29 Today, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland defines honours level learning as an understanding

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Textiles from the

P

Muriel Rose Bequest Above: Detail of chalice cover, tussah silk, handembroidered in silk, lined with cotton, circa early 20th century 6130 © The Textiles Collection, University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham

Below: Detail of shawl, hand knitted, Shetland Isles, circa early 20th century 6124 © The Textiles Collection, University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham

of ‘a complex body of knowledge, some of it at the boundaries of the academic discipline’. It expects a development of ‘analytical techniques and problem-solving skills’ that enable graduates to ‘reach sound judgements and communicate them effectively’;30 all qualities exemplified in Timeless Textiles and those individuals represented in it. While academic programmes of study shift and change over time, the ‘whole’ process of design remains an essential element of education at Farnham.31 The Textiles Collection continues as an important teaching and learning resource - a working collection that provides real examples, not only to demonstrate a broad range of textile techniques and processes but most importantly, to encourage students to handle textiles, to respond to their qualities, and to question and analyse them as a primary source.32

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In 2005 the collection became available as an on-line database through which the richness and diversity of the Muriel Rose bequest can be more widely experienced and enjoyed, albeit as a substitute for direct handling. As a large component of the Textiles Collection, the Muriel Rose bequest plays a central role in stimulating creative investigation, and supporting students in their understanding of the factors influencing textile design and production into the new millennium.

1

Unpublished letter from Deryn O’Connor to Douglas Matthews, 23 July 1986, The Textiles Collection archive, University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham.

2

Ibid.

3

Letter from Ella McLeod to the Secretary of the Bray Committee, 1947, Muriel Rose Archive, 10c) 1623 p.2, Crafts Study Centre.

4 5

Ibid. Letter from Deryn O’Connor to Douglas Matthews, 23 July 1986, The Textiles Collection archive, University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham.

6

T imeless Textiles: from many periods and peoples chosen by Ella McLeod (West Surrey College of Art and Design, Farnham, 1986) p.2.

7 8 9

Ibid. p.2. Ibid. p.9. Ibid. p.2.

10 11 12 13 14

Ibid. p.10. Ibid. p.10. Ibid. p.11. Invitation for the Little Gallery, Muriel Rose Archive, 5a) 874, Crafts Study Centre. T imeless Textiles: from many periods and peoples chosen by Ella McLeod (West Surrey College of Art and Design, Farnham, 1986) p.11.

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15

Letter from Mary Thomas to Muriel Rose, 1 July 1941, Muriel Rose Archive, Crafts Study Centre.

16

T imeless Textiles: from many periods and peoples chosen by Ella McLeod (West Surrey College of Art and Design, Farnham, 1986) p.1.

17

Ibid. p.11.

18

Margaret Bide, Ella McLeod, 1908-2000 (The Journal of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers No. 195, September 2000) p.25.

19

Letter from Ella McLeod to Muriel Rose with accompanying amended notes, October 1960, Muriel Rose Archive, 10c) 1619 p.2, Crafts Study Centre.

20 21 22 23

Peter Sanger, Splendid craftsmanship of the Timeless Textiles (Farnham Herald, 3 October 1986). Ibid. Ella McLeod, The real value of that all too rare fine craftsmanship (Farnham Herald, 10 October 1986). T imeless Textiles: from many periods and peoples chosen by Ella McLeod (West Surrey College of Art and Design, Farnham, 1986) p.14.

24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Ibid. p.14. Ibid. p.11. Ibid. p.11. Peter Sanger, Splendid craftsmanship of the Timeless Textiles (Farnham Herald, 3 October 1986). Ibid. Ella McLeod, The real value of that all too rare fine craftsmanship (Farnham Herald, 10 October 1986). T he Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (January 2001).

31

B  A (Honours) Textile Design Course Handbook 2006-07 (University College for the Creative Arts, Farnham) p.17.

32 Linda Brassington, The Textiles Collection: a teaching and learning resource (http://vads.ahds.ac.uk/

collections/ST.html , December 2005).

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O Bowl, porcelain, yellow glaze overall, manganese rim, 9.5 x 9.5 centimetres

A Working Week with Muriel Rose Barley Roscoe

Lucie Rie, 1950s

Gifted to the Crafts Study Centre by Muriel Rose

P.74.21

© Crafts Study Centre (2006)

In the spring of 1974 I spent a memorable few days staying with Muriel Rose in her home at 51 West Street, Coggeshall in Essex being vetted and groomed for the temporary post of a part-time research assistant for the Crafts Study Centre. At 76 Muriel seemed to me to be absolutely ancient, whilst at 21, I evidently appeared to her to be impossibly young: nevertheless we warmed to each other at once. My first meeting with her had been earlier that year at the West Surrey College of Art and Design (WSCAD) when I had applied for the job. Henry Hammond, Head of Ceramics at WSCAD, and a founder Trustee of the Crafts Study Centre had agreed to host the interviews in Farnham and, as a founder Trustee herself, Muriel was also on the interviewing panel together with the Chairman, James Noel White. I was told that a large part of the job would entail visiting prospective donors to list and catalogue the work that was being offered to the Centre and, subsequently, the panel decreed - in view of my youth and lack of experience - that I should spend a trial week with Muriel to see whether I passed muster, before my appointment could be confirmed. It was therefore with some trepidation that I arrived in Coggeshall on the appointed day. I knew my judge was not only highly regarded as an eminent figure in the craft world, but had a reputation for having the highest possible standards and the most impeccable taste which, at times, could be coupled with a devastating candour which spared no one. The house itself was large, gracious and imposing (‘absolutely not a cosy cott’ which, I learnt later, was apparently the last thing Muriel wished for in retirement). She greeted me

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warmly, urging me to make myself at home, and proceeded to give me a brief guided tour in showing me upstairs to my bedroom. Everywhere I looked distinctive contemporary and antique furnishings and possessions were juxtaposed with taste and discrimination whilst, architecturally, high ceilings, large sash windows and elegant proportions created a light, spacious effect. Having unpacked, I returned downstairs, through the shaded hall with partdrawn blinds, to join Muriel in the sitting room. On entering my eyes immediately alighted on two superb ceramic sculptural forms framed in alcoves either side of the fireplace opposite the door. I had done some homework and read Muriel’s book Artist Potters in England so, to my relief, was able to recognise these pieces as being by Hans Coper. Weak spring sunshine filtered through a tall pair of windows which overlooked the garden and provided extensive views out over the water meadows beyond. Positioned between the two low window seats was a beautifully polished, circular, pedestal table, on which was placed a small, matt-black and offwhite, cylindrical vase by Lucie Rie holding a scented nosegay of early blooms from the garden. An antique agate bowl, together with a couple of lidded ceramic boxes by Bernard Leach graced the same table. Centred on top of a Georgian commode opposite the fireplace, there was a clock (which, I soon discovered, chimed the quarters and played God Save the Queen on the hour). It was flanked on either side by two high footed yellow bowls by Lucie Rie, one of which had been carefully repaired following an accident with an indulged and less than sure-footed cat, long deceased. Over the coming week this was the room in which Muriel and I were to spend most of our time together. Now she received me from a tightly-upholstered, horsehair chaise longue in one corner with her back to the windows. She was sitting very upright with her legs out straight before her and a rug over her

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knees. A neatly attired, diminutive figure, little more than five feet in height, she had beautifully coiffed white hair and big blue eyes - at some angles further magnified by her spectacle lenses. A tray carefully laid with tea things had been placed on a rectangular folding table nearby and as she poured tea she outlined the programme for the week. In the course of the next five days she proposed to give me an intensive course on British crafts in the 20th century whilst enlarging on the history, origins and aims of the Crafts Study Centre. More specifically it was agreed we should run through the long list of work that she herself was proposing to donate or bequeath to the Centre, and trial catalogue a range of examples commencing with studio pottery. This all seemed quite feasible and I felt most encouraged. What I did not appreciate immediately, but quickly realised the following morning, was that the speed at which we could operate was, of course, entirely dependent upon the pace which a frail, perfectionist septuagenarian could withstand. As this penny dropped the proposed programme suddenly seemed ridiculously ambitious. Living up to Muriel’s high standards based on a daily routine which evidently could not be changed, proved exhausting for both of us and - no matter how hard we tried - seemed to leave only an hour or two at most for the actual work in hand, despite the dual services of a capable home help and a gardener to deal with all chores and maintain the garden. Meals relentlessly governed the day: breakfast, lunch and supper punctuated by coffee and tea in between. The plus was that they provided an excellent opportunity to talk, the minus was that, of course, not only did these meals have to be very carefully prepared but perfectly cleared up afterwards. This seemed to take forever. In addition it went without saying that our repasts should be beautifully presented with the appropriate accoutrements. These included the right horn beaker, special Hester Bateman silver spoon and, if eating in the kitchen, the hem of the tablecloth laid facing the window. This

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left all sorts of potential pitfalls for the young and inexperienced especially when even a simple task like washing lettuce for a salad could be unbelievably complex. Three bags of seemingly identical lettuce in the fridge should have alerted me to hitherto unrealised possibilities yet - until I inadvertently served up a rather damp mixed salad which included rabbit’s lettuce (and met with singular disapproval) - I was gloriously unaware that today’s lettuce should have been washed yesterday to ensure its bone dryness and hence ability to take a dressing (‘as any epicure cook knows’), or indeed, that any passable but less than 100 percent lettuce should be preserved for the home help’s rabbits rather than mixed in with the rest. Washing up afterwards (separately each time, of course) was no less fraught since not only did items have to be clean but any traces of watermarks removed from all surfaces including the sink. In addition the taps must be turned off properly so as not to drip and waste precious water, but not too tightly (‘I had quite a struggle this morning’). Meals apart there were many other daily tasks and considerations to be fitted in: beds had to be made, hand washing done, home help and gardener instructed, the news at one o’clock listened to and, most importantly, a rest taken after luncheon. The latter was a far from simple affair for, if it was fine, a lounger needed to be erected in the garden with blanket, sleeping bag and pillows where Muriel would lie with her head peeping out and a bandanna across the eyes. Alternatively, if it was inclement, she would lie on the hearthrug in the sitting room with all the aforementioned equipment apart from the lounger, and snore gently whilst I attempted to get on with some aspect of cataloguing before serving tea on a tray in the sitting room. My cataloguing duties included photographing, measuring and numbering the studio pottery, as well as drafting entries on selected pieces. These would then be read out to Muriel for comment over tea when the merits of describing a celadon glaze as ‘light’ green or ‘pale’ green were fully discussed and quite often returned to

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again the following morning when doubts might be expressed as to whether the glaze in fact should be referred to as ‘green’ at all. Far more interesting to me than unpicking my draft catalogue entries and equally useful was to listen to Muriel talk over a meal. Then conversation soon turned to setting up the Little Gallery and the work that she showed there in the 1930s, or an account of her experiences touring The Exhibition of Modern British Crafts in the USA from 1942-45; alternatively I would be given deft thumbnail sketches of contemporaries mixed in with general insights into the craft world. Although the daily pace of life was slow, I found that Friday came round all too quickly. At the end of the week it was no surprise for either of us to find that I had completed cataloguing less than a dozen pieces. However, the real surprise and joy for me was that my appointment was confirmed!

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Bibliography Bland, A., Mavrogordato, T. and Vacher, J., 20th century crafts: a review of the first Crafts Study Centre exhibition 1972, Crafts Study Centre/Surrey Institute of Art & Design, 2005 The British Council, The Exhibition of Modern British Crafts organised by the British Council, London, undated exhibition catalogue Cooper, Emmanuel, Bernard Leach: Life & Work, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2003 Fitzrandolph, Mavis Traditional Quilting, B.T. Batsford, London, 1954 Gamble, Roe Chelsea Child, British Broadcasting Corporation, London 1979 Harrod, Tanya, The Crafts in Britain in the 20th Century, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1999 Olding, S. and Carter, P. (eds), Crafts Study Centre: Essays for the Opening, Canterton Books, Hampshire, 2004 Rose, Muriel, Artist Potters in England, Faber and Faber, London, 1970 Stevens, Christine, Decline and Revival in Quilts, National Museums, Cardiff, 1993 Woodhead, Kate, Muriel Rose and the Little Gallery, unpublished M.A. thesis, Victoria and Albert Museum/Royal College of Art, 1989 Woodhead, Kate, A very twentieth-century imagination: The Holburne Museum & Crafts Study Centre in Quilters’ Review, Winter 1994

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Bibliography

Acknowledgments

Bland, A., Mavrogordato, T. and Vacher, J., 20th century crafts: a review of

Kate Woodhead for the insightful conversations that we have held about

the first Crafts Study Centre exhibition 1972, Crafts Study Centre/Surrey

Muriel Rose and the Little Gallery, Barley Roscoe for her help at the beginning

Institute of Art & Design, 2005

of my research, Elen Phillips at St Fagans National History Museum,

The British Council, The Exhibition of Modern British Crafts organised by the British Council, London, undated exhibition catalogue Cooper, Emmanuel, Bernard Leach: Life & Work, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2003

National Museum of Wales for help in research activity, Susie Alcock for her scrupulous and helpful proof-reading and David Westwood for his highquality photography. (JV) Peter Cox for his thoughtful recollection of Muriel Rose at Dartington; David Medd for his recollection of Muriel Rose’s sycamore table and Diana Eccles

Fitzrandolph, Mavis Traditional Quilting, B.T. Batsford, London, 1954

for the tremendous support of the British Council. (SO)

Gamble, Roe Chelsea Child, British Broadcasting Corporation, London 1979

Deryn O’Connor for her in-depth knowledge and advice on the history of the

Harrod, Tanya, The Crafts in Britain in the 20th Century, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1999 Olding, S. and Carter, P. (eds), Crafts Study Centre: Essays for the Opening, Canterton Books, Hampshire, 2004 Rose, Muriel, Artist Potters in England, Faber and Faber, London, 1970 Stevens, Christine, Decline and Revival in Quilts, National Museums, Cardiff, 1993 Woodhead, Kate, Muriel Rose and the Little Gallery, unpublished M.A. thesis, Victoria and Albert Museum/Royal College of Art, 1989 Woodhead, Kate, A very twentieth-century imagination: The Holburne Museum & Crafts Study Centre in Quilters’ Review, Winter 1994

62 MURIEL ROSE: A MODERN CRAFTS LEGACY

Muriel Rose bequest, Amelia Uden for her sensitive direction of photography in the recording of woven textiles in the Textiles Collection, David Westwood for his skilled photography, and Sheila Harvey for her knowledge and administration of the archives. (LB)


Muriel Rose A Modern Crafts Legacy Edited by Jean Vacher

A new collection of essays on Muriel Rose (1897-1986) edited by Jean Vacher, Collections Manager of the Crafts Study Centre. Muriel Rose played a central role in the development of the crafts both before and after the second world war, and was one of the Founder Trustees of the Crafts Study Centre as well as Director of the highly influential Little Gallery in London.

ISBN 0-9554374-0-7

Muriel Rose: A Modern Crafts Legacy  

A collection of essays on Muriel Rose (1897-1986) edited by Jean Vacher, Collections Manager of the Crafts Study Centre. Muriel Rose played...

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