A.W Finch
©Photograph: Museum of Applied Arts.
Photo: Salon Strindberg


FINCH, ALFRED WILLIAM (1854-1930)
Painter, Ceramic Artist, Professor (1928)


 
Teacher of Ceramics in the Central School of Applied Arts 1902-30,
teacher of Graphics 1903-05, 1928-30

The Anglo-Belgian A.W. Finch moved to Finland in 1897 on an invitation from the Count Louis Sparre. Sparre established a production plant by the name of Aktiebolaget Iris for production of interior art pieces - furniture and ceramics. Finch set up the ceramic production and was the director of it until the factory became bankrupt in 1902.

In spite of its short period of activity the Iris factory built the ground for modern Finnish ceramic art. The ideas of Morris, Ruskin, and van de Velden could be discerned in the Iris products. Finch forwarded the spreading of their mission into Finland.

In 1902 A.W. Finch started the education in ceramics at the school of industrial art. He did not continue to make the Iris type of ceramics, but turned to a new style, inspired by Chinese and continental ceramics, of unique nature and with engaging glazing. Finch's teaching created the stable and high European quality of Finnish ceramics.

A.W. Finch was a many-sided artist. Besides ceramist he was also painter and graphic artist, teaching e.g. etching graphics. The following books may guide you into the art of Finch:

  • Alfred William Finch 1854-1930. Ateneum, the Museum of Applied Arts. Exhibition Catalogue 1991.

  • Supinen, Marja, A.B. Iris - suuri yritys, (Iris Ltd. - The Great Endeavour), Sulkava, 1993. ISBN 951-608-010-3.

  • Leppänen, Helena, Finch (1854-1930), Arttu! no. 5/91. Bulletin of the University of Art and Design.

Ceramic works and paintings by Finch can be seen e.g. in the Museum of Applied Arts and in Ateneum in Helsinki, in the Porvoo Museum and in the Art Museum of Turku.



Pictures of Works by A.W. Finch

Glazed tile
Glazed tile
Iris 1897-1902. White clay 16x16 cm

©Photograph: Museum of Applied
Arts, 09596

Ewer/Water jug and two bowls
Ewer/Water jug and two bowls
Iris 1897-1902. Red clay

©Photograph: Museum of Applied
Arts, 09580

Vase, 1901
Vase, 1901
Red clay

©Photograph: Museum of Applied
Arts 09697

Vases, 1902-1913
Vases, 1902-1913
Red clay

©Photograph: Museum of Applied
Arts, 09606

Vase, 1904
Vase, 1904
Red clay

©Photograph: Museum of Applied
Arts, 09604