Baker, Malcolm and Richardson, Brenda, eds. A Grand Design : The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: V&A Publications, 1997. 431 p., ill. ISBN 1851773088.
Susie Cooper's original contribution to the design, production, and marketing of tableware has assured her a prominent place in the history of twentieth-century ceramics. Founding (in 1929) and managing her own factory, and designing pottery shapes as well as their decorations, Cooper broke away from the traditional roles ascribed to women in the pottery industry worldwide, moving into the design of shapes (which was, and remains, predominantly a male preserve) and, even more notably, into the management of the factory.
Praised by design critics of the 1930s for her understanding of the "fitness to purpose" philosophy of design, Cooper earned commercial success with a wide range of designs, including distinctly "feminine" petite floral and geometric patterns, boldly coloured stripes and abstract forms, and exuberant animal decorations. This coffee set, an early product of the Susie Cooper Pottery in the classic "Kestrel" shape, was purchased by the Museum in 1985, prior to its exhibition of her work in 1987, although Cooper's work had been represented in the V&A's collection since 1934.