Helen Brown

Independent curator/ museum consultant.

Areas of specialist interest:

British Studio ceramics

Winchcombe pottery (Michael Cardew, Ray Finch and others who worked at the pottery) and other Gloucestershire/Wiltshire potteries (Taena, Prinknash, Crickade).

Curated exhibitions including:

– First retrospective of Winchcombe Pottery, Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum, 1998.

– Michael Cardew, the Winchcombe Years, Court Barn, Chipping Campden, 2016.

Publications including:

– Winchcombe Pottery exhibition catalogue (with Ron Wheeler) White Cockade 1998.

– Simplicity or Splendour catalogue and introductions for ceramics, Lund Humphries, 1999.

– Cardew’s customers, chapter essay for Michael Cardew & Winchcombe Pottery 1926-39, Cotswold Living 2014.

Michael Cardew, The Winchcombe Years, exhibition guide/essay for Court Barn Museum, 2016.

– Articles/reviews for SODAC (Society of Decorative Art Curators journal).

Chinese studio ceramics

Co-curator Ahead of the Curve, New China from China, 2013 (touring exhibition at The Wilson, Cheltenham, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, The Potteries Museum, Stoke-on-Trent).

And associated publications:

Ahead of the curve, new china from China, conference paper (with Kate Newnham) Plymouth College of Art Making Futures conference journal 4.


I am an enthusiastic, highly motivated and creative museum professional with extensive experience working with museum collections, to create exhibitions, displays and events that engage with audiences.

My strengths are in curating collections, collections management, project management and public engagement. My curatorial background is in fine and decorative art, ceramics and craft but I have also worked with wide range of other collections.

I am currently mixing a two-day a week curatorial post at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery with freelance and voluntary roles. At Bristol I have curated an exhibition of studio pottery from the 1960s and 70s, including work by Ruth Duckworth, Gillian Lowndes and Janet Leach which was once part of the Bristol Education Authority’s loan collection for schools.

Employment history:

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery- Curator, Applied Art (part-time) April 2015 (cont.)

Freelance Curator and Museum Consultant October 2013 (cont.)

Range of projects including:

  • Court Barn Museum, Chipping Campden, freelance exhibition curator Michael Cardew, the Winchcombe years, March 2016.
  • Bristol Museum, freelance work on Ahead of the Curve, exhibition of contemporary Chinese ceramics and glass, 2014.
  • Carisbrooke Castle Museum (Collections Review consultant – ceramics) March 2014.
  • H. Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum, India, Adviser (2014 and cont.)
  • Arts Council England, Artistic and Quality Assessor NPOs and MPMs (August 2014 – cont.)

Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum 1986 –2013

  • Various roles including latterly Collections Manager.
  • Specialist curatorial responsibility for applied arts, Chinese ceramics and (2006-13) fine art.


  • Curating collections and exhibitions
  • Identifying/researching collections
  • Museum interpretation
  • Collections reviews
  • Project management
  • Mentoring (and working with volunteers)
  • Writing text/labels/catalogue and essay text

Based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.