Elizabeth Fritsch

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Elizabeth Fritsch
1940 (age 78–79)
EducationRoyal College of Art
Known forCeramics
Notable work
ElectedRoyal College of Art
Hand-Built pot by Elizabeth Fritsch

Elizabeth Fritsch MA(RCA) CBE (born 1940) British studio potter born into a Welsh family on the Shropshire border.[1] Her innovative hand built and painted pots are often influenced by music, painting, literature and architecture.[2] Fritsch initially studied at the Birmingham School of Music studying harp, and then piano at the Royal Academy of Music from 1958 to 1964; but she later took up ceramics under Hans Coper and Eduardo Paolozzi at the Royal College of Art from 1968 to 1971.[3] In the seventies Fritsch, along with other ceramicists Alison Britton, Carol McNicoll, Jacqueline Poncelet, developing out of the Royal College of Art, under Prof. David Queensbury, along with others, they formed an important shift and influence in British ceramic art, breaking away from the more traditional forms, design and function of the more utilitarian ceramics that had preceded.

In 1985, she set up a studio in London, England.[4] Since her first show in 1972, Fritsch has had a number of solo shows. In 1996 and 2001 she was shortlisted for the Jerwood Prize for Ceramics. Fritsch's work is represented in major art collections and museums in more than 9 countries around the world and her work presented in most of the UK's major city art museum collections.[5] and in Britain.[6] A major retrospective was held at the National Museum Cardiff, Wales, in 2010, featuring a complete range of her most significant studio pottery and recent pieces where, she consideres "the space between the second and third dimensions", a concept she first described as "two-and-a-half dimensions".[7] Dynamic Structures: Painted Vessels also marked her 70th birthday.[8]


  • 2001: Shortlisted for Jerwood Prize for Applied Arts 2001: Ceramics


Museum & Public Art Gallery collections[edit]

Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • 2010: National Museum Cardiff, Wales, UK. Dynamic Structures: Painted Vessels, 2 Oct. 2010–2 Jan. 2011[16]
  • 2008: Fine Art Society - London Nov 11-Dec.[17]
  • 2007: Retrospective, Bonhams, London
  • 2007: Anthony Hepworth Gallery, Bath
  • 2000: Metaphysical Vessels, Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 2000: Memory of Architecture, Part II, Besson Gallery, London
  • 1998: Sea Pieces, Contemporary Applied Arts, London
  • 1995–6: Retrospective touring to Munich, Karlsruhe, Halle and Bellerive, Zurich
  • 1995: Metaphysical Pots, Bellerive Museum
  • 1994–5: Order and Chaos, Bellas Artes, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • 1994: Osiris Gallery, Brussels
  • 1993–5: Vessels from Another World, Northern Centre for the Contemporary Arts, Sunderland, travelling to Aberdeen, Birmingham, Cardiff, London, Norwich, UK
  • 1992–3: Retrospective, Pilscheur Fine Art, London
  • 1991: Hetjens Museum, Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 1990: Cross Rhythms and Counterpoint, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1978: Leeds Galleries, Temple Newsham; travelled to Glasgow, Bristol, Gateshead, Bolton, and V&A, London
  • 1976: British Craft Centre, London
  • 1974: Waterloo Place Gallery, London
  • 1972: Bing and Grondahl, Copenhagen


  1. Edward Lucie-Smith on Elizabeth Fritsch: Vessels from another World, Metaphysical pots Painted Stoneware, Bellew Publishing, 1993. ISBN 1-85725-098-2 ISBN 978-1-85725-098-5
  2. Peter Dormer and David Cripps “Elizabeth Fritsch in Studio – A view”, In Studio Series, Bellew, London, 1985. ISBN 978-0-947792-04-6
  3. Elizabeth Fritsch, pots about music. Authors: Elizabeth Fritsch, David Cripps, Leeds City Art Gallery (England), David Queensberry, Alison Britton, Ian Bennett. Publisher, Leeds Art Galleries, 1978, ASIN B0007AT9X2
  4. E. Cameron & P. Lewis, Potters on Pottery, Elizabeth Fritsch, pgs. 62-69 Evans Brothers, London 1976. ISBN 0-312-63280-0



  1. Laura Gascoigne, "Ahead of their time" © PROLITTERIS, ZURICH, The Spectator, 23 October 2011
  2. The Wall Street Journal "A New Spin on Ceramics" by Margaret Studer, 18 May 2006
  3. Moira Vincentelli Women & Ceramics, Gendered Vessels, Manchester University Press, 2000, p. 249. ISBN 0-7190-3840-5, ISBN 978-0-7190-3840-2
  4. Garth Clark The Potter's Art, Phaidon 1995, pp. 200–201. ISBN 0-7148-3202-2, ISBN 978-0-7148-3202-9
  5. John Houston The Abstract Pot forms of expression and decoration by nine artist potters, Bellew Publishing, 1991.
  6. Fischer Fine Art (1986) Nine Potters: Bernard Leach, Katherine Pleydell-Bouverie, Michael Cardew, Hans Coper, Lucie Rie, Elizabeth Fritsch, Ewen Henderson, Elizabeth Raeburn, Claudi Casanovas, Catalogue of an exhibition held at Fisher Fine Art, 1986. ASIN B001ON0RX2
  7. John Russell Taylor, "Elizabeth Fritsch: Pots About Music" Ceramic Review, 58 Jul/Aug 1979 pgs 30-33.
  8. J.D.H. Catleugh "Recent Pots: Improvisations from Earth to Air", Ceramic Review, 44 Mar/Apr 1977 pg 7.

Broadcasts and Podcasts[edit]

British library, Sounds Oral History, On 6 July 2004, (1 of 14) National Life Stories Collection: Crafts' Lives

BBC Private Passions, Classic Arts Production, On 14 April 2001 Michael Berkeley's guest was Elizabeth Fritsch

Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Ceramic Points of View: 'Optical Pot', by Elizabeth Fritsch Video Podcasts[18]


  1. ^ Emmanuel Cooper, Ten Thousand Years of Pottery (British Museum Press, 2000) ISBN 0-7141-2701-9
  2. ^ "Elizabeth Fritsch Ceramics Collection". Prifysgol Aberystwyth University. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  3. ^ http://visualarts.britishcouncil.org/collection/artists/fritsch-elizabeth-1940
  4. ^ Fritsch, Elizabeth. "Biography". Archived from the original on 12 February 2005. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  5. ^ British Council Artist
  6. ^ "Elizabeth Fritsch". Galerie Besson. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  7. ^ Between Dimensions: The representation of the object, MIMA, 25 November 2011 – 24 February 2012
  8. ^ Dynamic Structures: Painted Vessels by Elizabeth Fritsch, published by the National Museum of Wales, October 2010, ISBN 978-0-7200-0611-7
  9. ^ Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 2001: Ceramics
  10. ^ The Gazette: Official Public Record: 1995
  11. ^ Royal College of Art: Senior Fellows
  12. ^ Post Office Stamps:1987
  13. ^ Cardiff Elizabeth Fritsch collection at the National Museum
  14. ^ V&A Collections Saxophone and Piano Duo, Pair of vases 1978 (made)Stoneware, with matt C.160-1979 Gallery location: Studio Ceramics, room 142, case 1, shelf 2
  15. ^ A Box Bottle ca. 1974 Stoneware Dimensions: H. 15, W. 9 inches (38.1 x 22.9 cm.)
  16. ^ Dynamic Structures: Painted Vessels by Elizabeth Fritsch. "What's On", National Museum Cardiff, UK, 27 Nov 2010. Retrieved on 2010-11-22.
  17. ^ Elizabeth Fritsch: The Fine Art Society, London, in association with Joanna Bird Pottery. Published by The Fine Art Society, in association with Joanna Bird Pottery, for the exhibition Elizabeth Fritsch, 12 – 27 Nov 2008, ISBN 978-0-905062-57-0
  18. ^ 'Ceramics Points of View' collaboration between The National Electronic and Video Archive of the Crafts and the V&A. Elizabeth Fritsch, 'Optical Pot', stoneware, height 311mm, width 232mm, 1980. Museum no. C.13-1981

External links[edit]