Margaret Lawrence

Terra firma: The Inquisitive Collector

1 May1 June 2014

From the 1 May – 1 June, Chapter House Lane presents ‘Terra firma: The Inquisitive Collector’, an exhibition curated by Tina Lee of works from The Margaret Lawrence Australian Ceramics Collection. Please join us for the exhibition opening from 6-8pm on Thursday, 1 May.

This exhibition of works selected from the Margaret Lawrence Australian Ceramic Collection reflects the collector’s inquisitive nature and life long inquiry into ceramic arts practice in Australia. A passionate collector, Margaret Lawrence collected over 600 pieces during her lifetime, keeping her own hand drawn catalogue of each work with full descriptions. The works date from the early 1900’s until 2005, the year of Margaret Lawrence’s death at the age of 90. Collecting everything from functional ware to more sculptural ceramics, the diversity of her collection showcases the significant variety and approaches to ceramics over the past 100 yrs. Represented in the collection are many of the early pioneers of Australian studio ceramics including William Merric Boyd, Harold Hughan, Peter Rushforth, Reg Preston, Gladys Reynell and Klytie Pate to name a few. Their works rub shoulders with commercially produced ceramics and works by other distinguished Australian ceramicists including Owen Rye, Greg Daly, Prue Venables, Janet DeBoos, Pippin Drysdale, Alan Peascod, Deborah Halpern and Les Blakebrough. It is one of the largest private collections of studio ceramics in Australia. Many of the collector’s personal favourites are exhibited here for the first time along with the initial pieces that started this comprehensive collection: representative of the major important influences and developments in Australian Ceramic history.

The exhibition is part of ‘Give it up for Margaret’, a program of events celebrating the life and philanthropic work of Margaret Lawrence. An art lover, avid Carlton supporter and quiz show champion, Lawrence was also a significant philanthropist supporting numerous projects that advanced women, education, welfare and the arts. The opening night of the exhibition of her ceramic collection at Chapter House Lane falls on the centenary eve of Margaret Lawrence’s birth.

The collection is on loan from the Margaret Lawrence Gallery and The Victorian College of the Arts. For more information please visit