About / Collections / Lisa Sainsbury Ceramics Collection

Lisa Sainsbury Ceramics Collection

Not formally part of the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection, the Lisa Sainsbury Ceramics Collection represents a major collection of 20th century studio ceramics.

History of the collection

Lisa Sainsbury's collection of modern pots began in the 1950s, when she and Sir Robert first purchased work by Lucie Rie. 

A remarkable group of pots by Rie, as well as examples from her war-time work in button production, are the highlights of the collection.

The Sainsbury’s friendship with Rie led them to the work by Hans Coper, with Sir Robert seeing his works as “sculptures". The Sainsbury Centre now holds the largest public collection of Coper ceramics, many donated by his widow after his death in 1981.

Artists represented

The collection also includes pieces by Rie’s and Coper’s contemporaries such as Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada. Other artists represented include; James Tower, Ewen Henderson, Claudi Casanovas, Rupert Spira, Jennifer Lee, Julian Stair, Sara Radstone, Gabrielle Koch and Ian Godfrey.