Stories in clay: Arthur Merric Boyd Pottery

This exhibition celebrates the creative achievements of Arthur Merric Boyd (AMB) pottery one of Australia’s most innovative, significant and vibrant post-war potteries.

Established in 1944 by artists Arthur Boyd and John Perceval together with philosopher and artist Peter Herbst, the pottery was located at 500 (now 502) Neerim Road, Murrumbeena until it closed in the early 1960s. Commencing with the manufacture of functional domestic ware to meet post-war demands, the focus of the studio changed by the late 1940s with the production of more colourful, experimental and vibrant one-off earthenware pieces. Coffee and tea sets, bowls, carafes, plates, jugs, Decanter sets, vases and tiles applied to coffee tables, often decorated with angels, beasts, portraits, and Australian flora and fauna motifs emerged out of this collaborative, exuberant and creative environment.

Works by major Australian artists Arthur Boyd, John Perceval, Neil Douglas, Yvonne Boyd and associated potters are on loan from the National Gallery of Victoria, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Shepparton Art Museum — SAM, Monash University Museum of Art and many private collections. A selection of earthenware tiles and ceramic sculptures by Arthur Boyd, John Perceval’s expressive ceramic angel sculptures conceived at AMB Pottery, bowls and other related works are included in this exhibition.

Curator: Diane Soumilas

Arthur Merric Boyd Pottery, Murrumbeena, Melbourne (manufacturer) | Arthur Boyd (potter and decorator) | Tea service 1948 | Earthenware National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne | Purchased from Admission Funds, 1983 (D26.a-h-1983)

©Arthur Boyd’s work reproduced with the permission of Bundanon Trust

Arthur Merric Boyd Pottery, Murrumbeena, Melbourne (manufacturer) | John Perceval (potter and decorator) | Coffee service 1956 | Earthenware | National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne | Gift of Alex and Edward Rose, 1990 (D31. a-h-1990) | ©John Perceval/Copyright Agency, 2019
Arthur Merric Boyd Pottery, Murrumbeena, Melbourne (manufacturer) | Arthur Boyd (decorator) | Decanter set 1948 | Earthenware | National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne | Gift of John Perceval, 1987 (D32.a-f-1987)

©Arthur Boyd’s work reproduced with the permission of Bundanon Trust

John Perceval, Arthur Merric Boyd (AMB) Pottery | Coffee pot c.1950 | painted and glazed stoneware 28 x 27 x 22 cm | Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne | Gift of Barbara Blackman AO 2014 | ©John Perceval/Copyright Agency 2019
Arthur Merric Boyd Pottery, Murrumbeena, (manufacturer) | Neil Douglas (potter and decorator) | Decanter c.1950 | Earthenware (a-b) 42.0 x 12.0 x 10.0 cm (overall) | National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne | Kenneth Hood Bequest Fund, 2012 (2012.27 a-b)