Lars Tharp is a keynote, motivational and after-dinner / guest speaker, who draws from his 40 years in the world of Art and Antiques. A freelance consultant mainly in Ceramics (buying, curating and selling ) he speaks and lectures worldwide. His audiences range from Festivals, Conferences, Social, Corporate and Business gatherings to schools and universities, arts and heritage societies, Museums and Galleries, and private functions.
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Read more about Lars Tharp
Born in 1954 in Copenhagen and educated in England Lars was influenced from an early age by his Danish grandfather - a classical philologist, archaeologist and museum curator. In the 1970s Ihe read archaeology ('Arch and Anth') at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge University. The Master of his college was the legendary Joseph Needham, genius of the multi-volume History of Chinese Science and Civilization (CUP). And Lars was hooked.
He joined London’s Sotheby’s in 1977 and he specialised in Chinese Ceramics under the late Julian Thompson before becoming director and auctioneer and representing the company throughout its European offices.
As a freelance broadcaster he works regularly with the BBC: from 1986 to 2018 on the Antiques Roadshow, plus dozens of TV and Radio programmes including his own series, Inside Antiques (BBC2), Hidden Treasures (chairman and writer, Radio 4), and on the Art of the Baroque (Radio 2), not to mention the occasional contribution to Woman's Hour - on Scandinavian knitwear ; on Archive on Four with Men in Bow Ties.
In 2011 and 2013 he filmed two documentaries on the China Trade shown on the BBC and still syndicated throughout the world: Treasures of Chinese Porcelain and China in Six Easy Pieces. He also filmed One Man and his Pug - a journey with William Hogarth and his pet dogs, in the hope of re-discovering the long-missing terracotta model by L-F Roubiliac.
Before two recent series of Griff Rys Jones's Quizeum he had appeared in several light-hearted programmes including Call My Bluff and was on the victorious team of University Challenge Christmas 2013 (Gonville and Caius Alumni)
Lars was also the curator and museum director of the Foundling Museum, London, and he created and/or presided over several exhibitions including Hogarth’s China ( London1997 and Wedgwood 1999); Celebrating Ceramics (2005-2006) (three exhibitions for York Museums Trust Threads of Feeling (Foundling Museum, with guest curator John Styles)Tracey Emin, Paula Rego and Matt Collishaw (with guest curator Jill Hedley. He is a member of the steering committee for York's Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) and President of International Ceramics Festival (next in 2019)
His books include 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 How to spot a Fakes, the other on 20th Century Antiques. He is also a contributor/ occasional columnist to newspapers and magazines
Honours and Elections
• Elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 2011
• Honorary Doctorate of Arts (DMU 2003)
• Honorary Doctor of Letters (Leicester University 2016).
His clients include the National Trust, The Royal Institution, The Harveyan Society, The Oriental Ceramic Society, The English Ceramics Circle), plus friends of various Museums and Galleries (e.g. the V&A, Ashmolean, Fitzwilliam)
The Making of the 'Antiques Roadshow' – a behind-the-scenes look at our national institution. As well as some Notable Moments, Lars considers What Makes Objects Important...and valuable. And is anything ever broken? Questions you’ve always wanted to ask are answered.