Quentin Bell’s Pottery

Prof Quentin Bell (c) John Staples ARPS.APAGB

2010 marked the centenary of the birth of Quentin Bell, the second son of Clive and Vanessa Bell.

Quentin Bell was 6 years old when he moved to Charleston with his mother and older brother, Julian, in the middle of World War I.  Charleston remained a home for him, on and off, until he married in 1952.

His education was sporadic, and after spending a number of years training as an easel artist, he began to study pottery at the age of 25.  For this he went to Stoke on Trent, an internationally renowned centre for ceramics also known as the potteries or the five towns.  His passion for working with clay remained with him for life.  He created this pottery when the family came to live here permanently during World War II.

Quentin Bell worked in a number of fields throughout his life.   As well as being a practising artist and potter, he lectured in Fine Art  at Newcastle and Sussex Universities and became a Professor of Art History and Theory at Sussex.  He wrote prolifically, and his published work includes books on the history of fashion, essays on Ruskin and on the nature of art history and criticism.  Most famous though, is his celebrated biography of his aunt, Virginia Woolf, researched with the help of his wife, Anne Olivier Bell.

Quentin Bell became a driving force behind the creation and survival of the Charleston Trust, working tirelessly for Charleston until his death in 1996.

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Photo gallery: Quentin Bell Ceramics:
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