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Born in Shropshire, United Kingdom in 1940, Elizabeth Fritsch has been a leading figure in British ceramics since the 1970s. The artist began her studies at the Royal Academy of Music which she attended between 1958 and 1964 as a student of the harp and piano. She then changed directions and took up ceramics at the Royal College of Art in London, working with Hans Coper from 1968 to 1971.

Elizabeth Fritsch’s work is characterized by its sharp profiles and architectural qualities. She hand builds her vessels from stoneware using the coil method, and the resulting surface is then meticulously smoothed. She colors her works with dry matte slips, often applying geometric motifs. Fritsch has a preference for exhibiting her work in small, carefully arranged groups, creating a sophisticated interplay between the shapes of the vessels and their decoration.

Speaking about her influences, Fritsch has said;

The metaphysical function of certain kinds of buildings is to convey transcendence, spiritual exaltation, serenity, et cetera. This is most potent when there is an inter-relationship with music or the airy element, appearance and disappearance or extreme drama, as in monasteries, cathedrals, temples, tombs, and theatres. Even more than in such intentionally metaphysical buildings, certain mundane physically functional architecture carries a strong other-worldly poetic charge- all the stronger perhaps for being an unintentional by-product of the physical function, as in, for example, lighthouses, windmills, telescopes, bridges, boats, dams. It is the dangerous elemental relationships which make precision engineered buildings such as these breathtaking. A third strand of influence comes from the dramatic architecture created by the elements in nature: such as, - to mention just a few examples from geology- mountaintops (Ziggurat towers, pyramids), cliffs, chasms, waves.

Elizabeth Fritsch frequently exhibits on an international scale, and her work is represented in numerous collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.


1996     Shortlisted for Jerwood Prize, with exhibition traveling to Galerie Marianne Heller,
1995     CBE and Senior Fellowship, Royal College of Art
1993     Gold Medalist, Visuelle Spiele, International Handwerksmesse München
1972     Prize Winner, Royal Copenhagen Jubilee
1970     Silver Medal Royal College of Art: Herbert Read Memorial Prize


1968-71     Royal College of Art, MA Ceramics (Distinction)
1958-63     Royal Academy of Music, Post Graduate Diploma
                Birmingham School of Music, Music (Teaching) BA Hons

Museum Collections

Belle Rive Museum, Zurich, Switzerland
City Art Gallery, Bristol, England
City Art Gallery, Manchester, England
Crafts Advisory Committee, London, England
Kusnst Industry Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark
Leeds Art Galleries, Lotherton Hall, England
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Musée Des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France
Museum Boymans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Museum of Decorative Arts, Montréal, Canada
Museum Für Kunst Und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany
Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu, Japan
National Ceramic Collection, Coburg, Germany
National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, Wales
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England
Welsch National Collection, Aberystwyth, Wales
Shigaraki Museum, Shigaraki, Japan
Kunstsammlungen-Coburg, Germany

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2010        Dynamic Structures: Painted Vessels, National Museum Cardiff, Cardiff, Wales
2008        Fine Art Society, London, United Kingdom
2007        Retrospective, Bonhams, London, United Kingdom
2007        Anthony Hepworth Gallery, Bath, United Kingdom
2000        Metaphysical Vessels, Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, Massachusetts
               Memory of Architecture, Part II, Gallerie Besson, London, United Kingdom
1998        Sea Pieces, Contemporary Applied Arts, London, United Kingdom
1995        Metaphysical Pots, Bellrive Museum, Zurich, Switzerland
1994-5     Order and Chaos, Bellas Artes, Santa Fe, New Mexico
1994        Osiris Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
1994        Bellas Artes, Santa Fe, New Mexico
1993-5     Vessels from Another World, Northern Centre for the Contemporary Arts,
                    Sunderland, traveling to Aberdeen, Birmingham, Cardiff, London, Norwich,
                    United Kingdom
1992        Pilscheur Fine Art, London, United Kingdom
1991        Hetjens Museum, Düsseldorf, Germany
1990        Cross Rhythms and Counterpoint, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1989        Elizabeth Fritsch, Gallerie Besson, London, United Kingdom
1978        Leeds Galleries, Temple Newsham; traveled to Glasgow, Bristol, Gateshead,
                    Bolton, and V&A, London, United Kingdom
1976        British Craft Center, London, United Kingdom
1974        Waterloo Place Gallery, London, United Kingdom
1972        Bing and Grondahl, Copenhagen, Denmark