THE BALLANTYNE COLLECTION OF STUDIO POTTERY AT NOTTINGHAM CASTLE

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Post by philpot Sun Jun 18, 2023 11:17 am

THE BALLANTYNE COLLECTION OF STUDIO POTTERY AT NOTTINGHAM CASTLE Img_0995THE BALLANTYNE COLLECTION OF STUDIO POTTERY AT NOTTINGHAM CASTLE Img_0997

The Rollo and Marion Ballantyne Collection of studio pottery is an interesting one. It is probably one of the best and interesting of private collections in a British Museum. Mainly because it is the personal collection of one couple. The Ballantynes started collecting in 1971, and collected widely up until about the mid 90's. It consists of a couple of hundred pots, a flavour of which is in the two illustrations, These are the front and back covers of an illustrated catalogue of the collection .Which is excellent in itself, giving a lot of information on the potters within.
The potters above, First illo. Hans Coper, Peter Beard, John Leach, joanna constantinidis, Janet Leach, Lucie Rie, The Lucie Rie is of particular interest as it was personally commissioned by Rollo Ballantine from Lucie Rie in 1985 in memory of his sister.
Second illo. Siddig El Nagoumi Pig, Mary Rogersm 3 Ian Godfrey pieces, Michael Cardew stool, Geoffrey Whiting teapot, Ray Finch charger, Mary Rich Vase. The Michael Cardew piece is interesting as it was the first piece the Ballantynes purchased in 1971, Some start! The collection also has 13 Ian Godfrey pieces. Probably the highest number in any public collection.

The collection had a chequered history in search of a final home. From Sudbury, through various places in Derby. Finally settling as a major attraction in the Nottingham Castle Museum which reopened after an expensive refurbishment in 2017. However the Museum Trust ran into financial difficulties and closed in 2022. Latest news is that it will reopen on June 26 2023. How much of their studio collection is to be on show, one does not know. A Museum you have to pay to enter. Not unlike York.
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Post by denbydump Sun Jun 18, 2023 12:05 pm

Well I hope they do a better job of displaying it than when I saw it years ago.
It was just a smallish selection, in poorly lit cabinets in a side corridor.
Like many museums who end up with a decent collection, they just don't have the
space or the knowledge to do it justice.
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Post by philpot Mon Jun 19, 2023 8:18 am

When the the Nottingham Museum reopened in 2017 after a very expensive refit the Studio pottery collection was given great prominence. The catalogue itself much have cost a lot to produce. But it went bust. Mainly because not enough people paid the £12 or so entrance fee.
               We have no idea what the display will be like when it reopens. One suspects it might well try to be more populist. ie dumbing down to attract the punters. In that scenario Pottery does not often do well.
                 Government grants to mUseums are not keeping up with inflation. Equally a lot of those grants are based on visitor numbers, and more obstruse things like community benefits.
                 Reality being is that we have been spoilt by free Museum admissions. Look at the prices The National Trust charges!
              York COCA has charged for admission for a long time. Last time I went there it was £10. That was time time ago tho!
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Post by philpot Mon Jun 26, 2023 9:45 am

A footnote to York COCA art gallery. When we visited it last week the main collection was Free entry.
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