Ann Stokes

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Ann Stokes
Ann Stokes potter died 2014.png
Ann Mellis

21 September 1922
Died21 April 2014 (2014-04-22) (aged 91)
NationalityUnited Kingdom
Known forCeramics
Spouse(s)Adrian Stokes
Ian Angus

Ann Stokes or Ann Mellis (21 September 1922 – 21 April 2014) was a British and Scottish-born ceramic artist.


Stokes was born on the east coast of Scotland at Gullane in 1922. She was born at the manse as her father was a Reverend.[1]

In 1939 her sister and her husband had moved to St Ives where they would establish a new artistic school. She went to live with her sister where she would meet some of the artists who became important to the new school. She also met her brother in law Adrian Stokes who was a writer and leading art critic.

In 1946 her sisters marriage failed and the following year she married her ex-husband. This was illegal in Britain so they had to travel to Switzerland to find someone who was legally allowed to marry them.[2]

In 1957 she took up pottery and she studied the subject deeply, whilst presenting her work to friends as a hobby with an annual sale of work.[2]

Adrian died and after a number of years she remarried Ian Angus who was a librarian and an expert of George Orwell. They would spend part of the year in Italy where Stokes had another studio. Her new husband would amuse himself caring for their olives. They were happy together.[2]

Stokes ceramics were collected in her lifetime. She would create sculptures of animals like crocodiles, fish and birds as well as painted plates. Her influences included ancient Cretan pots, Mediterranean pottery and the work of Alfred Wallis.[3] She was chosen as the first modern potter to exhibit at the Hayward Gallery in 1985 - and thirty years later there has not been another.[2]


  1. ^ "Stokes (née Mellis), Ann (1922–2014), artist | Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". doi:10.1093/odnb/9780198614128.013.108780. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Harrod, Tanya (14 May 2014). "Ann Stokes obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Ann Stokes Hardcover – 1 Jun 2009". Retrieved 14 August 2019.