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She had two brothers, Paul and Teddy. Paul was killed at the Italian front in 1917. She studied pottery under Michael Powolny at the Vienna Kunstgewerbeschule, a school of arts and crafts associated with the Wiener Werkstätte (the "Vienna Workshops). She set up her first studio in Vienna in 1925 and exhibited the same year at the Paris International Exhibition.
In 1938 she fled Nazi Austria and emigrated to England, where she settled in London. Around this time she separated from Hans Rie, a businessman whom she had married in Vienna. For a time she provided accommodation to another Austrian émigré, the Austrian physicist, Erwin Schrödinger. During and after the war, to make ends meet, she made ceramic buttons and jewellery, some of which are displayed at London's Victoria and Albert Museum.
In 1946 she hired Hans Coper, a young man with no experience in ceramics, to help her fire the buttons. Although Coper was interested in learning sculpture, she sent him to a potter named Heber Matthews, who taught him how to make pots on the wheel. Rie and Coper exhibited together in 1948. Coper became a partner in Rie's studio, where he remained until 1958. Their friendship lasted until Coper's death in 1981.
Rie's small studio was at 18 Albion Mews, a narrow street of converted stables near Hyde Park. She invited many people to her studio and was renowned for giving her visitors tea and cake. The studio remained almost unchanged during the fifty years she occupied it. It is to be moved and reconstructed in the new ceramics gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum due to be opened in 2009.
Because of her close collaboration with Coper, and perhaps because they were both pre-war immigrants from German-speaking countries, Rie's pottery is often associated with Coper's, but their work is very different; his tended to be sculptural and abstract, hers predominantly functional.
Rie was a friend of Bernard Leach, one of the leading figures in British studio pottery in the mid-twentieth century, and she was impressed by his views, especially concerning the "completeness" of a pot. But despite his transient influence, her brightly-coloured, delicate, modernist pottery stands apart from from Leach's subdued, rustic, oriental work.
She taught at Camberwell College of Arts from 1960 until 1972.
Rie's work has has been described as cosmopolitan and architectural[who?]. She is particularly known for her bowl and bottle forms. Her pottery is displayed in collections around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and reaches high prices in sale rooms.
Awards and honoursEditar
- 1937 Silver medal at the Paris International Exhibition
- 1969 Honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art
- 1981 CBE
- 1991 DBE
- Birks, Tony. Lucie Rie, Marston House Publishers, 1998. ISBN 0-9517700-7-1.
- Coatts, Margot (ed.). Lucie Rie and Hans Coper: Potters in Parallel, Herbert Press, 1997. ISBN 0-7136-4697-7.
- Cooper, Emmanuel (ed.). Lucie Rie: The Life and Work of Lucie Rie, 1902-1995, Ceramic Review Publishing Ltd., 2002. ISBN 4-86020-122-1.
- Frankel, Cyril. Modern Pots: Hans Coper, Lucie Rie & their Contemporaries, University of East Anglia Press, 2002. ISBN 0-946009-36-8.
- "Dame Lucie Rie, 93, Noted Ceramicist", New York Times, April 3, 1995, B10.
- Further information
- A Ceramic History, by Edmund De Waal, last visited December 12, 2005.
- BBC Woman's Hour, 15 March 2002
- University of Chichester - Lucy Rie
- the Visual Arts Data Service
- Lucie Rie Archive held by the Crafts Study Centre and hosted online by the Visual Arts Data Service (VADS)
- A blue plaque for Lucie Rie's studio
- Bottle. Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved on 2007-11-19.
- Lucie Rie, 'Teapot & Jug'. Ceramics. Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved on 2007-12-09.
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