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Lane, (Edward) Arthur

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The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture What is This? Provides in-depth historical and cultural information on over a thousand years of Islamic art and architecture

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Lane, (Edward) Arthur

(b. 15 Dec. 1909; d. ?London, 7 March 1963).

English museum curator and historian of ceramics. He studied classics at Cambridge and became interested in ceramics while on a fellowship in Athens. He then spent nearly 30 years in the Department of Ceramics at the Victoria and Albert Museum, becoming Keeper in 1950. Although he wrote on Greek, Italian, French, English and German pottery, his work in the field of Islamic ceramics was particularly outstanding. His books on early and later Islamic pottery, especially the former, are milestones in the subject. In deceptively simple language, with a rare economy of words, Lane defined series of comparable ceramics and provided them with places and dates. Not all of his categories have stood the test of time, and from the very beginning some of his views, particularly on Ottoman ceramics, have been challenged. Nevertheless, Lane's work remains valid and valuable because he always operated as an art historian in a field often dominated by archaeologists and technical analysts. He participated in excavations at al-Mina in northern Syria and was certainly aware of the special information given by the analysis of thousands of shards. He had also studied ceramic techniques, but his true concern was to identify and explain the artistic merits of fine ceramics and his pages reflect a rare love of individual objects. By realizing that some of them were indeed works of art, Lane gave true meaning to the study of Islamic ceramics.

Writings

  • “Medieval Finds at Al Mina in North Syria,” Archaeologia [Soc. Antiqua. London], lxxxvii (1937), pp. 19–78
  • “The So-called ‘Kubachi’ Wares of Persia,” Burl. Mag., lxxv (1939), pp. 156–62
  • Victoria and Albert Museum: A Guide to the Collection of Tiles (London, 1939, 2/1960)
  • Early Islamic Pottery (London, 1947)
  • French Faïence (London, 1948)
  • Greek Pottery (London, 1948, 2/1963)
  • Italian Porcelain (London, 1954)
  • “The Ottoman Pottery of Isnik,” A. Orient., ii (1956), pp. 247–81
  • Later Islamic Pottery (London, 1957, rev. 1971)
  • English Porcelain Figures of the Eighteenth Century (London, 1961)

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • R. H. Pinder-Wilson: Obituary, Trans. Orient. Cer. Soc., xxxiv (1962–3), p. 8
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