New exhibition for King’s Lynn arts Centre

Dr Graham Cooley with some of his collection on display at King's Lynn Arts Centre
Dr Graham Cooley with some of his collection on display at King's Lynn Arts Centre
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A new exhibition at King’s Lynn Arts Centre will focus on ceramics from Hungary through the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

Dr Graham Cooley, a well-known collector of 20th century glass and researcher, is bringing a stunning collection of post-war Hungarian – travelling back in time via a whirl of colours, shapes and motifs that recreate the period’s Applied Arts. 

The exhibition, a world first in this area, will feature over 400 objects from Dr Cooley’s collection. Gorka Geza (the great establishment figure) and Gorka Livia (his rebellious daughter; excluded from the academy) will be in the Fermoy Gallery. The main exhibition will be the Shakespeare Barn and period literature will be in the Red Barn.

This showcase will also mark the fifth fruitful collaboration between the Dr Cooley and King’s Lynn Arts Centre, and the exhibition promises to be both captivating and informative.

A book of the same title, Forma Hungarica: Post-War Hungarian Ceramics, has been published by King’s Lynn Arts Centre to accompany the exhibition.

With an essay commissioned by Peter Langh of the 567 Gallery in Budapest, it will be the first publication on the subject written in English and will be available to purchase for £10.50.

From 1945 to 1990 many great artists developed their work in isolation from the West. Interestingly, this also meant isolation from what might be called ‘accepted history’, because most of these great practitioners have not recently been written about or exhibited.

Exporting from the Comecon countries was highly co-ordinated and controlled. Designer glass came from Czechoslovakia and designer ceramics from Hungary. There were accepted artists who could sell their work through the arts and crafts company “Iparművészeti Vállalat” or the state organised “Artex”, and those promoted by the State were prolific in their time.

The names of most of these artists have disappeared over time, so this show will bring their work the exposure that it deserves. Rediscovery and reassessment is an essential part of progress in historical analysis. It is also the most enjoyable part of piecing together information about a new collection of historical objects.
Forma Hungarica: Post-War Hungarian Ceramics will be showing from tomorrow, May 2nd, to Saturday, June 20, in the Arts Centre’s Shakespeare Barn, Red Barn and Fermoy Gallery. Opening times are 10am-5pm; admission is free.

For more information on upcoming exhibitions, workshops and theatre shows, call 01553 779095 or visit