Chapman-Taylor, Ray

Date of birth
16 Oct 1908
Ray Chapman-Taylor "was a school inspector who had been with the Kiwi J-Force in the occupation of Japan after World War II. While there, he wanted to collect pots and had heard of [Shoji] Hamada. Being an enterprising New Zealander he comandeered an army jeep, loaded it with canned goods and such non-perishable foods that were then a luxury in country Japan, and headed up the maze of country roads to Mashiko in Tochigi-ken where he found Shoji Hamada. Fifteen years later Hamada told [Dr Terry Barrow] of the surprise of the villagers and of himself on the arrival of an army gentleman in a jeep who offered to trade foods for pots. In the circumstances it was a happy exchange...Ray's collection gave [NZ potters and museums] the opportunity to handle a large selection of Hamada and other Japanese pots beyond the stray studio items found here and there in private possession. On one occasion I [Terry Barrow] exhibited Hamada using the Ray Chapman-Taylor collection at the Dominion Museum [Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington] where I was ethnologist." ("A Potting Reminiscence", Terry Barrow in 'Making the Molecules Dance: Len Castle Ceramics, a retrospective exhibition 1947-1994', pp 14-15.)


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