Wakefield Art Gallery - 2005 - Bill Ismay - A Passion for Pots
One of three exhibitions opening in September 2005 featuring studio pottery from the 13,000 pieces held by the York Museums Trust. A Passion for Pots celebrates the life and studio pottery of Wakefield librarian Bill Ismay who amassed a 3,500 piece collection which filled his small terraced house in the city. Bill died in 2001 and bequeathed his pots to the museum trust. The exhibition is in two rooms. One exhibits large pots by Shoji Hamada, Hans Coper, Svend Bayer, Ladi Kwali and Barbara Cass together with the 80th birthday plate created by Eric Mellon featuring Bill Ismay with some of Mellon's usual characters! A video in which Barley Roscoe, Jim Robison and Chris Keenan talk about Bill and the Coper and Hamada pots and huge enlarged images of some of Bill's letters are also included together with some pots to be handled including work from the Leach Pottery in St. Ives and Svend Bayer. The second room tries to give the visitor an idea of what Bill Ismay's house must have been like. Cased displays of Bill's pots are surrounded by wall sized images of how the pots were stored in his house - stacked on top of each other and covered in dust.