Learning Index >> The Life and Work of Bernard Leach

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Trude Fleischmann

Without doubt Leach, a natural hoarder, retained vast quantities of material with an eye on a further biography. For such a researcher, his papers offer an enormously rich fund of first hand material, virtually unrivalled in the world of the applied arts. A brilliant writer, with a sharp eye for detail, Leach recorded impressions, meetings, thoughts, ideas and opinions with utter frankness. The Leach papers have been catalogued by Alyn Giles Jones into three volumes, a remarkable achievement for not only do they list all the material, but also much of it is succinctly and usefully described. The first and most extensive collection was donated by Leach himself, the second by his son David Leach and the third, and smallest group by Trudi Scott, a fellow Bahá'í, who was his companion/secretary in the latter years of his life. In all they total some 14,000 items, made up of official and private papers, books, drawings and photographs.

This biographical guide on Bernard Leach works chronologically, from the earliest references, which are to his ancestors, parents, and childhood, through to the latest. It takes the reader through Leach's life, illustrating it with material from the archive, to give a flavour of the richness and range of the material.

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