New Bequest: Matsuzaki Ceramics

Our latest bequest is a set of five ceramics by the celebrated Japanese ceramicist Ken Matsuzaki.

Published: 23 March 2022

Leicester Museums & Galleries have recently received a bequest of ceramics from a local man called Peter Burgess who passed away late last year. Peter was a keen collector of ceramics, especially enjoying the work of the celebrated Japanese ceramicist Ken Matsuzaki (b. 1950). Peter’s interest in pottery came about when he was an infant teacher. No one was using the kiln at the school he worked at, so he read the instruction book and had a go. He then started reading about Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada’s pottery in St Ives and went on to build a raku kiln in the school playground.

Peter had Muscular Dystrophy and did voluntary work on Inclusivity of Design at the Helen Hamlyn Centre at the Royal College of Arts, describing himself as a ‘disabled user’. The bequest includes two works by Ikuku Iwamoto a London-based Japanese ceramicist who took part in a project at the Hamlyn Centre, producing cups with textured/spiky/dotty surfaces.

Peter had fond memories of visiting Leicester Museum & Art Gallery and remembered when the Egyptian collection was displayed in the basement with the fishpond. He wished for his beloved ceramics collection to be seen by as wide an audience as possible after he died and so bequeathed it to the museum.


The bequest includes five ceramics (and their individual wooden boxes) by Matsuzaki, as well as other Japanese ceramics and pieces that he purchased in Cornwall by artists such as Peter Swanson and Alan Brough.

The ceramics by Matsuzaki are currently on display in the upstairs foyer of Leicester Museum & Art Gallery.