Lars Tharp (Doctor of Letters)

Thursday 14 July, 11 am

Lars Tharp is a ceramic historian, consultant and broadcaster.  He was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, and came to England in 1960.  He was educated in Leicester at Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys, and read Archaeology and Anthropology at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.  In 1977 he joined Sotheby's in its Chinese Department, eventually becoming Auctioneer and a Director.  In 1986 he was invited onto the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow as a resident ‘expert’.  He has appeared in all subsequent series  - the 2016 series is the 30th anniversary of his working on the show.  He is particularly drawn to Chinese ceramics of the Song Dynasty and lectures throughout the world on the Europe–China/Japan trade, and has made two BBC films on this, Treasures of Chinese Porcelain and China in Six Easy Pieces. In 2003, York Museums Trust commissioned him to devise and curate three ceramic exhibitions, in York, Wakefield and Scarborough.  He is a member of the steering group of York’s Centre of Ceramic Art (short-listed for this year’s Annual Art Fund’s Museum of the Year Prize), and is Honorary President of the International Ceramics Fair. In the 1990s, he devised an exhibition on Ceramics in Hogarth’s World at the International Ceramics Fair, London and at the Wedgwood Museum, Barlaston, both accompanied by his book Hogarth’s China (1997).  After serving as its Director he today represents London’s Foundling Museum as its Hogarth Curator, and he is the former Vice-Chairman of the Hogarth Trust. He is currently a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a Freeman of the City of London and serves on the Court of the Worshipful Company of Weavers. He is a Vice-President of the Leicester Archaeological and Historical Society, President of the Leicestershire Society of Artists and patron of Hope (Cancer Research) and of the Leicestershire International Music Festival.

Press comment

"I've a great fondness for Leicester. I went to school at Wyggeston Grammar, in the shadow of the University. Before leaving for university myself I performed with several of Leicester's county and city youth orchestras, as well as Leicester University's own chamber orchestra, thanks to which I met my future wife, who was a student here, as is our elder daughter at this moment. With these strong connections I am particularly delighted to have been given this honour, joining the university of a city which has given me so much."

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