Caravan-loving collectors give prized ceramics collection to Hepworth Wakefield

John Oldham and Terence Bacon courtesy Nick Singleton

A collecting couple with a keen eye and fairly modest means have bequeathed almost 100 works to Hepworth Wakefield gallery in West Yorkshire. Terence Bacon and John Oldham have built up an impressive ceramics collection over the years, travelling countrywide acquiring in the process vessels by key names such as Angus Suttie, Alison Britton and Lucie Rie. Forty-three pots by John Ward are also included in the holdings, one of the biggest private collections of work by the Pembrokeshire-based ceramicist. Bacon describes how the pair caught the collecting bug. “John and I thought [Hepworth Wakefield] was a wonderful gallery with great work and a wonderful building, full of people enjoying themselves. We had started travelling around in our caravan, and buying things we really liked but we never thought to set out to build a collection. None of it was purchased with investment in mind. That has been our whole ethos, though some of our friends thought we were bonkers,” Bacon told The Observer.