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Ceramics >> William Staite Murray (1881-1962)
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William Staite Murray

Staite-Murray was born in Deptford, London, attended the Haberdashers' School and studied painting with his artist-cousins. In 1895 his father sent him to work in a Dutch bulb farm, from where he travelled in Europe (studying painting), the USA and Canada. He married in 1905 and, from about.1909 to 1915, attended pottery classes at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts. In c.1915 he joined C.F. Hamilton at the Yeoman Pottery, Kensington; he served in the Army (1915-18), then set up workshops in the family engineering firm (1919) then at his home (1924), both in south east London. Here he made plain high-fired stonewares, adding bold brushwork only in a later phase.

From 1925 Staite-Murray taught at the Royal College of Art, becoming head of pottery in 1926; his distinguished students included Haile* and Hammond*. Solo exhibitions took place at Paterson's Gallery, Old Bond Street, London and in 1927 he was elected to the '7 & 5' Society, with whom he exhibited in the 1930s. He moved to Bray, Berkshire and worked there from 1929 to 1938. On a visit to Rhodesia in 1939, Staite Murray and his wife became stranded, due to the outbreak of war in Europe. They remained there, building a house and living in seclusion near Umtali.

*Denotes included in the Crafts Study Centre Collection.



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