Madge Spencer Project

Welcome, to our feature on the Madge Spencer project. A phenomenal woman born in Jamaica, graduated  in ceramics from Jamaica school of Art and Craft. She moved to England after graduating where she proceeded to make her mark as an accomplished Artist.

Madge Spencer—Studio Potter

Born Sweetland, Manchester, Jamaica February 1941

Spencer’s 1967 Exhibition opened by Sculptor Edna Manley - wife of Norman Manley the then Prime Minister of Jamaica, * * The Daily Gleaner 29th August 1967.

Early Years

1964 – One-Woman Exhibition of 112 pieces at the Institute of Jamaica. Spencer is still a first-year student.

1965 – Awarded first prize for Ceramics at the Jamaican Independence Festival.

1965 – One-Woman Exhibition at Kingston and St. Andrews Parish Library.

1966 – One-Woman Exhibition of 135 pieces at Kingston and St. Andrews Parish Library.

1966 – Sets up “Riversmeet” Pottery in Gordon Town, Jamaica with the assistance of Cecil Baugh and John Rivers

1967 – Last One-Woman Exhibition at the Little Theatre, Tom Redcam Avenue,
Kingston, Jamaica before leaving for England.”

New Beginnings—Nottingham

1967 – Arrived England in October and married John Rivers. 

1968 – Set up Portland Road Pottery in Nottingham.

         – Pieces included in Local Artist Exhibition at Nottingham Castle Museum.

         – First solo Christmas Exhibition at the Nottingham

1969Second solo Exhibition at Nottingham Playhouse.

1970 – Awarded the Holbrook Memorial Prize for Artists in Nottingham. *

         – Third solo Exhibition at Nottingham Playhouse. 

1971 –  Fourth solo Exhibition at Nottingham Playhouse.

1972Fifth, successive solo Christmas Exhibition at Nottingham Playhouse.

1969 Exhibition at the Nottingham Playhouse opened by Mr. R.E.K. Phillip - Counsellor at the Jamaican High Commission in London. * Pottery Quarterly no.49 - 1978 ** Nottingham Guardian Journal 9th December 1969.
Madge Spencer and Janet Leach at Leach Pottery in St. Ives, Cornwall, * Ripley and Heanor News 4th October 1985


1973/77- Set up Riddings Pottery in Riddings, Derbyshire. Exhibitions in Ripley, Alfreton, Iron Gate, Leicester and elsewhere.

1978     – ‘Potters and Painters’ Exhibition at Cornhill Gallery, Allestree, Derby.

1985     – ‘New Horizons’ Exhibition at the Royal Festival Hall, London.

             – Appeared on Central TV, ‘Here and Now’ in feature entitled ‘Top                  of the Pots’. *

1986     – Exhibition at the Contemporary Art Centre, Kingston, Jamaica.

1987     – ‘Double Vision’ Exhibition at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford.

1988     – Pieces for display acquired by Nottingham Castle Museum.

1990    – ‘Potters Art’ Exhibition at Black Art Gallery, London.         

1991 – Large stoneware bowl by Madge Spencer included in Cecil Baugh Gallery of Ceramics—National Gallery of Jamaica.

1992 –  Appearance on BBC TV Programme ‘Lifeline’.

1993 –  ‘Jamaican Winter’ Exhibition at the Commonwealth Institute, London. Visited by the Queen. *

1994 – ‘Expressions In 3D’ Exhibition at the Caribbean Gallery, London.

2000 – Set up Hunter’s Bar Pottery in Sutton-in-Ashfield.

2005 – Pieces by Spencer included in ‘Clay & Fire’ Tribute Exhibition to Cecil Baugh following his death.

2014 – Included in ‘Black Artists in British Art’ by Eddie Chambers.

2017 – ‘Signs of an Open City’ Exhibition—Museumand.

* Ripley & Heanor News 25th June 1993
The Times 12th May 1993
The Nottingham Connection. Lee Arbouin. Page 97

Madge Spencer at her studio in Sutton-in-Ashfield. There’s actually a ‘Well’ in the kitchen. Photograph by Mann Hans.
Following in the footsteps of her Uncle and Tutor, Cecil Baugh—from the very begin- ning—teaching and demonstrating pottery has been a passion of Madge Spencer
She is almost as passionate about telling traditional African-Caribbean children stories

Mellors & Kirk: Fine Art Auction—18th September 2019
Hammer Prices