Learning with experts

Lars Tharp


Lars Tharp has been a regular on the BBC since 1986. He’s been a regular on the Antiques Roadshow for over 30 years, and subsequently on dozens of TV and Radio series including Inside Antiques (BBC2), Hidden Treasures (Radio 4), Art of the Baroque (Radio 2). In 2011 and 2013 Lars filmed two documentaries on the China Trade shown on the BBC and throughout the world. Lars was born in Copenhagen and educated in England. Inspired from an early age by his Danish grandfather (a classicist and archaeologist), he read prehistoric archaeology at Cambridge University. The Master of his college (Gonville & Caius) was the legendary Joseph Needham, father of the still ongoing History of Chinese Science and Civilization fifteen-volume classic. In 1977 Lars joined auctioneers Sothebys as a junior cataloguer under the wing of late Julian Thompson. Specializing in Ceramics -and particularly in Chinese ceramics and Works of Art- He became a director and auctioneer with the London auction house, representing it throughout many of its European offices, from Spain to Scandinavia. After an extraordinary 16-year education in the art market, Lars left Sothebys in 1993 to set up my own company, Lars Tharp Ltd. Lars lectures across the world on the many aspects of Man and Clay. He lectures to educational institutions (universities, schools, and colleges) to other learned and heritage societies (e.g. NADFAS, National Trust, The Royal Institution, Harveyan Society, Oriental Ceramic Society) to the Friends of Museums and Galleries (e.g. the V&A, Ashmolean), to Festivals, Conferences, Social, Corporate and Business gatherings as well as bespoke private functions. From keynote to motivational and after-dinner speeches, Lars likes to entertain as well as inform. MyAntiqueSchool is Lars’s first foray into bringing ceramics to a digital audience across the world. Lars has been part of the auction world since 1977 and he now consults on buying, selling or care of Art; not just of Ceramics but also -through an extensive network of expertise – of other artworks and larger collections. He was intimately involved in the sale of one of the world’s most expensive vases – you can ask him about it in the classroom. From time to time he has also been involved in more light-hearted programmes including Call My Bluff and University Challenge (2013 Christmas Edition). As curator and museum director Lars has created and presided over several exhibitions: Hogarth’s China (1997 and 1999); Celebrating Ceramics (2005-2006) (three concurrent exhibitions for York Museums and Art Gallery; Wakefield; and Scarborough); Threads of Feeling (Foundling Museum, with guest curator John Styles) and Tracey Emin, Paula Rego and Matt Collishaw (with guest curator Jill Hedley) As author and author-editor Lars has several books to his name, notably Hogarth’s China (1997); the Little Brown Encyclopaedia of Antiques (with Paul Atterbury); Treasures in your Home (Reader’s Digest, with editor David Battie); and two books for the BBC under the Roadshow banner, one on Fakes, the other on 20th Century Antiques. Lars also contributes occasional pieces to newspapers and magazines and has had a regular column on The Scandinavian magazine.

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