History Gallery Marianne Heller


Marianne Heller´s Gallery for English Ceramics was launched in 1978 in a room of her house in Sandhausen near Heidelberg in Germany. The enterprise very quickly gained momentum, only the best pots by the best English potters were put on show. David Leach, Colin Pearson, Michael Casson, Richard Batterham, John Maltby, to name only a few, were presented in one man shows. In 1982 Marianne Heller inaugurated her Potters´ Seminars which soon became an institution, attracting collectors, potters and amateur enthusiasts who pilgrimaged to Sandhausen every year in midsummer. The best potters demonstrated at the wheel, talked about their craft, and imparted freely their knowledge and expertise.

Over the years Marianne Heller carefully widened the spectrum of her gallery, inviting representatives of modern contemporary British ceramics, again from the very beginning only the best. Alison Britton was among the first to make a strong impact on what was then still a reasonably conservative public. Gordon Baldwin, Ewen Henderson, Ken Eastman, Philip Eglin, Richard Slee, Walter Keeler and many others showed their work. Meanwhile the gallery attracted people from all over Europe and it was only a question of time, when Marianne Heller´s reputation as one of the leading gallerists and experts of modern ceramics should occasion profound changes in the gallerist´s policies. Having presented leading German ceramists she was the first to invite East European artists to show their work after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

In the end the beautiful showrooms in the Heller´s house at Sandhausen could no longer accommodate what twenty years after its opening had grown into an institution of international renown. Marianne Heller moved into spacious and beautifully situated rooms in a central area of Heidelberg in 1998. There the Gallery Marianne Heller was opened with an exhibition of works of those four great old men of English ceramics who had accompanied and supported Marianne Heller´s venture almost from the beginning. The Heroes David Leach and Colin Pearson, Ewen Henderson and Gordon Baldwin. The second climax of 1998 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the gallery was Women in Europe which showed work by 45 women artists from 15 European countries. On occasions like these the gallery turns into a forum of ceramic art where you will not fail to meet the most prominent artists as well as museum people and collectors.


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