The Holburne Museum in Bath plans to put on a major exhibition of Turner Prize-winning potter Grayson Perry’s early work in 2020. There’s only one problem – they don’t know where most of it is.
“I was very excited when the Holburne Museum proposed a show of my ceramics from the 80s and early 90s, as it would also be an opportunity to find and record the beginnings of my career,” Perry told The Guardian, but admitted that his record-keeping isn’t the best. “I recently moved house and found five pots in the loft which had been unseen since the 80s, and a dozen plates from the early 90s in a cupboard under a sink!”
His wife, Philippa Perry, hasn’t helped matters, either – the psychotherapist reportedly sent two of his artworks to Oxfam, accidentally, in a bundle of clothes. (Perry let the charity shop keep them in the end, and even signed them.)
To try and locate the missing artworks, the gallery has put out an appeal to anyone who remembers buying a ceramic pot or two from Perry – probably dressed as a biker or his frilly, feminine alter-ego, Claire – between 1983 and 1994. Apparently, the elegant vases are likely to feature motorbikes, teddy bears, or explicit language (ofc). Chris Stephens, the director of Holburne Museum, has likened the appeal to crowdsourcing an exhibition, while Catrin Jones, the exhibition’s creator, has taken a more romantic approach, calling it a “treasure hunt”.
Perry exhibited in Paris, New York, and Texas in his early years, but most of the pieces were shown and sold in London. Anyone who thinks they have one lying around on their mantelpiece or digs one out of their loft can contact the museum by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.