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Crafts Council

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  • Bowl, Lucie Rie, 1971. Crafts Council Collection: P107

Crafts Council Collections

The National Collection for Contemporary Craft

Objects in the Collections date from 1972 to present day and cover all craft disciplines including: ceramics, glass, textiles, furniture, metalwork, jewellery, lettering and bookbinding.

The objects in the Collections reflect excellence in British craft making. Craft is defined in its widest sense, from its interface with cutting-edge design on the one hand, to its crossover with fine art on the other.

Some of the first purchases for the Collections in the early 1970s were from studio potters such as Bernard Leach, Hans Coper and Lucie Rie. Now the Collections embrace new technologies and digital developments in making, seen in the work of Michael Eden, Drummond Masterton and Geoffrey Mann. It also includes conceptual craft such as works by Barnaby Barford, Naomi Filmer and Paul Scott.

Contour Bowl, Bob Crooks, 2002. Crafts Council Collection:G94. Photo: Nick Moss/Nick Turner

The Collections includes seminal works from makers of international standing including: Tomoko Azumi, Michael Brennand-Wood, Alison Britton, Caroline Broadhead, Toord Boontje, Edmund de Waal, Tom Dixon, Gerda Flockinger, Chris Knight, Michael Marriott, Junko Mori, Steven Newell, Grayson Perry, Wendy Ramshaw, Colin Reid, Michael Rowe, Julian Stair, Simone ten Hompel and David Watkins.

We are still actively acquiring contemporary craft for the nation and we want these objects to be seen by as many people as possible in order to inspire, enlighten and educate.

Search the Collections

If you are a venue that complies with museum standards of best practice you can borrow from our Collections. We lend to a variety of organisations and institutions including museums, art galleries, hospitals, universities, schools, heritage buildings and corporate venues. 

Objects can be loaned in a number of ways and can be loans as short as 24 hours to loans of five years or more.

Our Collections team is happy to discuss an application for a loan and what may serve your needs best.  We endeavour to make quick decisions and support you in using the object/s to maximum impact within your venue. 

Why we acquire

As well as serving to record the past, define the present and educate for the future, collections present the material evidence of creativity; they inform, inspire, enthral and enlighten.

Public collections are catalysts for creativity: access to the real object in a collection can offer new experiences for all.

They can promote dialogue, debate and questioning, as well as underpin learning, creativity and cultural awareness for everyone, helping to make sense of the world around. Public collections are an invaluable resource for research and scholarship.

The Crafts Council Collections are one of the most expansive and significant collections of contemporary craft in the UK offering a rich and unique resource on British contemporary craft.

The scope of the Collections are craft between circa 1960 and the present day, made in the UK.

Works are selected for acquisition on the basis of excellence, innovation and significance.

Works are acquired from major exhibitions and/or from makers who are at an important stage of development in their career.  

Assets such as drawings, sketchbooks, photos and notes which relate to acquired works are also collected where possible.

Acquisitions are informed by the opinions of specialists who engage in making, teaching and writing about craft. 

View the Craft Council's acquisition policy

Objects of Desire: from the Crafts Council Collection