In Tribute to Professor Simon Olding

All of us at New Craftsman wish to pay our respects to Professor Simon Olding, Director of the Crafts Study Centre, Farnham, who passed away in November after a short illness.

Simon began his career at Glasgow Museum and Art Gallery in 1979. He was greatly respected and highly influential as a specialist in contemporary craft, particularly in the field of ceramics, and was a prolific writer of academic essays and books. During his exceptional career he served as Director of the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth, as President of the Walford Mill Crafts Centre, and as Chair of The Leach Pottery. In 2002 he became director of the Crafts Study Centre, and he became a Professor of Modern Crafts at UCA Farnham in 2003.

Simon was a great friend and long-time supporter of our gallery, and has spent much of the past few years writing a book and researching and planning an exhibition on the history of the New Craftsman. That book, sadly unfinished but now edited into an extended essay, will be published by us this year in partnership with the Crafts Study Centre.

Simon’s exhibition will now be shown at the Crafts Study Centre a year later than planned, in the autumn of 2023, and we will be celebrating Simon’s research and his extraordinary contribution to contemporary craft in a parallel exhibition here at the New Craftsman as part of the 2023 St Ives September Festival. There will also be a reading of Simon’s own a lecture on the history of the New Craftsman, to be held at the St Ives Art Club.