An Atlas of Forms


The who, what, where and why of ceramics through more than 110 objects


ISBN: 9781760761523 Category:

Glenn Barkley


What can we learn about the Roman empire from an amphora made in 200 BC? How can a simple, unadorned cup made in 1945 tell us so much about history? And what will an artwork comprising a vast collection of clay spheres tell our descendants about the act of making?

Once fired, clay has the strength to last for millennia. Practical uses aside, ceramic objects are a testament to the power and innovation of ancient and ongoing cultural traditions. A single piece can tell an invaluable story about its time, the people who made it, how it was collected or its role within a broader cultural network.

Ceramics: An Atlas of Forms is a global cultural study through the lens of ceramics. Organised chronologically – from an Egyptian ceremonial jar made over 5000 years ago to works by 20th-century luminaries Lucie Rie and Bernard Leach, as well as First Nations artists from Australia and entirely unknown makers – this collection shares the stories of over 100 objects, honouring the artists who have left their mark on this timeless practice.

Additional information

Weight 1818 g
Dimensions 22.1 x 28 cm
Publisher name Thames & Hudson Australia Pty Ltd
Publication date 25 July 2023
Number of pages 320
Format Hardback
Dimensions 22.1 x 28 cm
Weight 1818 g


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Glenn Barkley is an artist, writer, curator and gardener living between Sydney and Broughton, Shoalhaven, NSW. Barkley was previously senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (2008-14) and curator of the University of Wollongong Art Collection (1996-2007).