Letter: Art, or just pots?

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Henry Rothschild has alerted us to the risk that Janet Leach's unique and important collection of Bernard Leach's work and documents are in danger of being lost to the nation (letter, 15 September).

If Leach had worked in any other medium than ceramics the work of this major 20th-century artist would be in the Tate Gallery. As it is, the Tate continues to maintain that ceramics are craft and not art. In the Tate St Ives, work by Leach is on show, but it is work loaned from the Wingfield Digby Collection, because the Tate does not choose to own ceramics.

At the same time that your columnist David Lister is pressurising Nicholas Serota, the Tate's director, to define modern art (Comment, 16 September), you might also ask him to say why Leach is not an artist. A wider definition might mean that the Janet Leach collection could be bought by the Tate. But Serota needs to think quickly.

The Rev TIM RUSS

St Dennis,

Cornwall

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