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The 2020 Emmanuel Cooper Memorial Lecture

21 February 2020 | 6.30pm

Kensington, Lecture Theatre 1


Making Emmanuel Cooper

Interest in the pots of Emmanuel Cooper has increased enormously in the years since his death in 2012.  However, Cooper was always more than a potter and in a career of almost half a century he developed a substantial reputation as a writer, teacher, editor, curator, advocate and activist. 

For many commentators it was this ability to combine a variety of roles and interests which made Cooper such a significant figure within the crafts community - but others have always viewed this diversity with ambivalence, believing it revealed a lack of focus and commitment to his work as a potter.

Through examining key aspects of Cooper’s life and experience, David Horbury will discuss the impact of these conflicting attitudes - on Cooper’s own practise and development – on the response to his pots - and on what they reveal about our ideas concerning the role of the potter.

David Horbury was born in Yorkshire in 1959. He graduated from Goldsmiths College, University of London and subsequently worked as a producer and scriptwriter for the BBC and other media companies. He met Emmanuel Cooper in 1982 and they lived together until Emmanuel’s death in 2012.  

David recently edited Making Emmanuel Cooper (Unicorn Publishing 2019) a book based on Emmanuel Cooper’s memoirs, diaries, correspondence and interviews.

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