Jean Muir, 1928 - 1995. Fashion designer (1991)
About this artwork
This unusual ceramic bust possesses the simple chic of the clothes which Jean Muir designed and is also a reference to her habit of always wearing navy blue. Muir began her working life in the shops of Liberty and Jaeger in London and successfully taught herself design. She set up her own business in 1966 and put 'craft and quality' before innovation. Her skills in cutting and draping material were exceptional but she preferred to be called a 'dressmaker' rather than 'designer'. The label is still a byword for sensual, immaculately structured garments.
The sculptor Glenys Barton was born in Stoke-on-Trent, once the thriving centre of china manufacture in Britain. After working as a teacher for some years, Barton studied at the Royal College of Art from 1968 to 71 where, amongst other influences, she cites the importance of Eduardo Paolozzi, then in the ceramics department. Her work is centred on the human form, the head in particular, and she is best known for her unsettling ceramic portrait busts. She has executed several important commissions for the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.