top of page

 Hans Coper (1920 - 1981)


Born 1920, Chemnitz, Saxony, Germany. Potter, active mainly in the UK in the latter half of the 20th century. As his father was Jewish, he fled alone to England at the age of 19. After the war, he met the potter Lucy Lee (1902-1995), also an exile, and began making ceramics under her.

In contrast to the mainstream heavy style of her time, which emphasized traditional elements from the East and West, Coper's work was more urban, with a strong relationship to sculpture and architecture. His work is characterized by a technique of joining together multiple parts moulded on the wheel.

1920 April 8th, Hans Coper was born in  Chemnitz, Germany, a few miles from the Czechoslovakian border.

1933 Hans’s family moved to Dresden because his father, Julius, was Jewish.

1937 Hans managed to enroll for training in textile engineering at a technical school in Dresden and studied there until he emigrated at England in early 1939.

1939 Immigrated to England

1940 Hans was arrested on May 12th ,1940, and sent to an interment camp in Huyton, in Lancashire.

   After 5 weeks in the camp, he was embarked on  a troop-carrying ship, bound for another interment camp in Canada.

1941 Hans volunteered Pioneer Corps of British Army, he desires to be sent in back to England. On June he went across the Atlantic again.

1943 Getting his health worse due to the army jobs, he was discharged the Pioneer Corps.

1946 Hans met Lucie Rie and begins work at Albion Mews Pottery.

1950 Hans Coper shared exhibition with Lucie and figurine sculptor Audrey Blackman at Berkeley Gallery.

1952 Hans delegated with Lucie Rie at the international Craftsman Conference in Pottery and Textiles at Dartington Hall, Devon.

1953 Shared exhibition with Lucie Rie at Berkeley Gallery. From this time, they hold many shared exhibitions.

1954 Hans won gold medal at Triennale di Milano

1958 Becomes nationalized british subject. First solo exhibition in England, at Primavera, Sloane Street, London, with over a hundred pieces.

1966 Begins to teach at the Royal College of Art as a once-a-week lecturer. (~ 1975)

1975 Given a diagnosis of ALS. Had already becomes even difficult to make conversation.

1980 Held the sixtieth birthday exhibition “Hans Coper” at Hetjens Museum, Dusseldorf, Germany. The last firing of his pieces. He burned all the writings during two years.

1981 Died at his home in Frome on June 16th.

bottom of page