Published 24th November 2013
Having mentioned the Rhead family in my last blog, I thought I ought to add some bite sized detail of the principle family members starting with George Woolliscroft Rhead (1832-1908). He was part of a family associated with the pottery industry for many years, primarily remembered as an artist, illustrator and particularly an art teacher up until 1900, but was employed as a gilder by Minton. Three of his offspring George Woolliscroft Rhead Junior, Frederick Alfred Rhead and Louis Rhead also started out with Minton.
A Minton charger painted by George Woolliscroft jnr
The younger George Woolliscroft Rhead (1854-1920) served his time under WS Coleman, latterly at the Kensington Gore Studios, got a scholarship to study art and etching in London, gaining a teaching certificate along the way. Eventually teaching in London and also undertaking freelance painting and etching for Doulton and Wedgwood.
A sumptious plaque attributed to Louis Rhead
Frederick Alfred Rhead (1856-1933) was perhaps the most dynamic. He studied under his father then at the age of thirteen he was apprenticed to Louis Solon, widely regarded as the master of the pate sur pate technique. In 1878, he was employed by Wedgwood, by 1887 he spent a brief period with James Gildea, a year later whilst at EJD Bodley he was responsible for executing the Gladstone Vase (see my last blog). Shortly after this he was at Brownfield’s until 1897 before joining Wileman & Co as art director until 1905. Thereafter, he was freelance for three years before entering into the partnership of Barker Rhead & Co (Atlas Tile Works), which failed two years later in 1910 causing his family some considerable hardship, after which he decamped to America. However, in less than a year he returned taking up a post with Wood & Sons from 1912-27.
A Frederick Alfred Rhead pate sur pate plaque depicting the Flatterers Net from Bunyans Pilgrim's Progress
Three years before joining Minton, in 1873, as a painter Louis Rhead (1858-1926) studied figure drawing in Paris. He joined his brother at Wedgwood in 1878, where he exhibited at the Paris Exhibition to acclaim. He continued his art education in London freelancing for Wedgwood until he emigrated to America in 1883 where he concentrated primarily on his artwork and book illustration.