The art pottery movement began in the 1870s in America and Britain, coinciding roughly with the beginning of the Arts and Crafts movement, which gained momentum in the 1880s. Art pottery was more elaborate than utilitarian pottery and more aesthetically focused than decorative figurines. Early art-pottery pieces were usually hand-decorated, signed by the artist, and produced in limited numbers.

Many companies known for their art pottery, like Rookwood, Roseville, Frankoma, and Weller, were founded in the American Midwest in the 1880s and 1890s. Drawing on local deposits of clay and minerals, most of these companies started by making simple, decorative pottery pieces or utilitarian pieces such as flowerpots and other garden ware.

What ultimately set these companies apart were their ornamental designs. Rookwood and other Midwestern companies took inspiration from Asian designs and Art Nouveau styles, creating pieces that were both functional and beautiful. They worked in a variety of popular forms, from vases to bowls to wall sconces and decorative tiles.

Some art pottery makers, like Rookwood, eventually grew into large operations, producing pieces in quantity and marketing them nationally via department stores and catalogs. But many smaller studios also thrived in the heyday of hand thrown and decorated art pottery.

Other noteworthy makers of art pottery include Hull, McCoy, Charles Volkmar, Chelsea Keramic, Lonhuda, George Ohr, Newcomb College, Grueby Faience, Adelaide Alsop Robineau, Artus Van Briggle, and the Saturday Evening Girls.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Gouda Design

Gouda Design

Stuart Lonsdale and Kim Lindley's excellent tribute to and reference on Gouda Dutch Art Pottery and Delftware. The … [read review or visit site]

Cowan Pottery Museum Associates

Cowan Pottery Museum Associates

Dedicated to raising awareness of the ceramic art work of R. Guy Cowan and his Cowan Pottery Studio in northeastern… [read review or visit site]

The Pottery Studio

The Pottery Studio

This 7,000-plus page site lives up to its self-billing as a 'knowledge base' with examples of work from all major a… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Dame Lucie Rie Dinner PlateFine Quality Slip Glaze Owl Jug Mary Wondrausch Studio Art Pottery Ozzy VintageDame Lucie Rie Dinner PlateCarlton Ware - W & R - Paradise Birds Enameled Vases - Art Deco!Dame Lucie Rie Dinner PlateArt Nouveau Delphin Massier Vallauris Lustre Landscape Vase ZsolnayDame Lucie Rie Dinner PlateClarice Cliff 5 Bar Toast Rack In OrangesDame Lucie Rie Dinner PlateRare Chicago Crucible Pottery Matte Green VaseAntique Italian Majolica Faience Pottery Scenic Charger Cobalt Copper Luster YqzDame Lucie Rie Dinner PlateAntique Italy Art Deco Lenci Bigi Torino Italian Young Lady Ceramic FigurineNoritake Figural Art Deco Flapper ( Morimura Brothers) Dresser Powder JarVtg Mid Century Ed Cromey California Studio Art Pottery Weed Pot Sculpture Vase Antique Austria Wien Vienna Augarten Art Deco Grotesque Man Porcelain FigurineStunning Peter Voulkos Wax Resist Bowl! Bitossi Aldo Londi Mondrian Oval Vase Raymor Italian Pottery Modern Clarice Cliff Art Deco Bizarre Gay Dayjam-pot Truly StunningClarice Cliff Art Deco Fantasque Bizarre Secrets Octagonal Plate StunningVery Pretty Little Early Moorcroft Bowl - Pansy On WhiteVintage Roseville Pottery Blue Primrose Vase 765-8 Antique Rare Form Signed Mp Sevres French Bronze Ormalu & Hoof Feet Urns P MiletVintage Ceramic Beswick Graduated Mallard Duck Wall Plaque Flight Bird 596-2Stunning 1920's Antique Green Matte Art Pottery Vase - MarkedVintage Ceramic Beswick Graduated Mallard Duck Wall Plaque Flight Bird 596-1Fine Rare Art Deco Clarice Cliff Fantasque Bizarre Ashtray Newport Pottery L@@k1930s Poole Pottery Art Deco Tz Leaping Stag Vase Rene HayesClarice Cliff Art Deco Bizarre Xanthic (harbour Scene ) Tea Duo V Rare StunningVintage Ceramic Beswick Graduated Mallard Duck Wall Plaque Flight Bird 596-4Stunning Rose Cabat Feelie Vase! Umber & Custard Outstanding Clewell Copper Clad Vase, Gorgeous Patina!Vintage Ceramic Beswick Graduated Mallard Duck Wall Plaque Flight Bird 596-3Vintage Catalina Island California Double Handled Matte Redish Orange VaseA.r. Cole Sanford North Carolina Art Pottery Rutile Drip Glaze V Handle Vase Signed Ken Nekola Ephraim Art Pottery Green Oak Street Bridge Vase! Reg $148 Nr!Vintage Toyon Red Catalina Island Pottery Round Gear Top VaseSan Jose Pottery Tile Mission Bookend No Reserve!Superb Beswick Grey Mare & Black Foal Model 1811Mid Century Modern Fantoni Cave Men Lion Wall Sculpture Harris Strong Era Rare Hinks & Sons Duplex Oil Lamp Linthorpe Drip Glaze Art Pottery Bronze BaseGrueby Pottery Scarab With Matte Blue Glaze - Free Ship To UsaDoulton Lambeth - Pair Of Stoneware Vases - Art Nouveau!Rare Antique 1901 Florentine Art Pottery Vase Chillicothe Oh Signed & Dated YqzL@@k Lovely Vintage Black And White Beswick Pottery Zebra Figure #845bBeswick Pottery Walking Racehorse ( Racehorse & Jockey ) No On Saddle A/f *44bBeswick Swan Family Head Up 1684 + Head Down 1685 + Cygnets 1686 + 1987Roseville Pottery Fuchsia Blue Vase 894-7 Exec Cond MarkedMoorcroft Vase Bramble Revisited V. Rare .Antique Fulper American Art Pottery Crystalline Glaze Bulbous Form Handled Vase Beswick Bird Lapwing First Version - Tail Feathers Split 2416'candy Seuss Demon' A Mug/stein Surreal Folk Art Face Jug By Ron DahlineLisa Larson Gustavsberg Stora Zoo 1960s Bulldog Art Pottery SculptureRare Design Zsolnay Pecs Antique 19thc Ewer Jug Circa 1885Wonderful Old Large Chinese Terracotta Figure With Children - Very Rare - L@@kVery Nice Troika Pot In V.g.c.William Moorcroft Moonlit Blue Landscape Design Inkwell With Silver RimVintage Rookwood Art Deco Era Pottery Vase Pastel Blue With Sunflower Detail NrClarice Cliff Art Deco Fantasque Honolulu Ashtray Very Rare Haldensleben East German Pottery Ceramic Modernist 20 Th Mid Century Vintage Pot

Recent News: Art Pottery

Source: Google News

What's going on in Lincoln County (Aug. 27 forward)
Ruidoso News, August 27th

Free. Call (575) 378-4431 for more info. Mercado del Artisan Outdoor Fair: River Rendevous Shopping Village, 524 Sudderth Drive. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Enjoy live music and fine art including gourd art, pottery, mosaics, jewelry, metal art, photography, and...Read more

Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide--All New 2015 Edition--Just Released
DigitalJournal.com, August 27th

Kovels' user-friendly price guide includes an index and cross-references for everything from art pottery, Depression glass and jewelry to furniture, coin-operated machines and sports memorabilia, along with up-to-date information about each category...Read more

What's going on around Lincoln County
Ruidoso News, August 26th

Mercado del Artisan Outdoor Fair: River Rendevous Shopping Village, 524 Sudderth Drive; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Enjoy live music and fine art including gourd art, pottery, mosaics, jewelry, metal art, photography, and more. Call 575-258-3409 for more info...Read more

Red Wing pottery
Leader-Telegram, August 25th

Besides dinnerware, Wipperling said factory employees made art pottery during shift breaks or other spare time. We collect items as a hobby, a challenge, an investment or a way to preserve a cherished, personal part of our past. For some of us, this is...Read more

Making Pottery Art: The Robert A. Ellison Jr. Collection of French Ceramics ...
City Guide Magazine, August 18th

(New York) - Technically experimental and aesthetically ambitious, the vases made by French potters in the years around 1900 pushed the boundaries of the ceramic medium. The recently acquired Robert A. Ellison Jr. Collection of European Art Pottery ...Read more

One Day Getaway takes viewers to Pottery Capital of North Carolina
WECT-TV6, August 15th

"So you began to see a transition from the production of utensils stoneware and a bit more in the development of art pottery in the early nineteen hundreds," said Lindsey Lambert, Executive Director of the North Carolina Pottery Center. Many of the...Read more

Antiques | Rookwood tiles fetch high prices
The Courier-Journal, August 1st

The company now makes new items, architectural tiles and art pottery. The best of Rookwood sells for high prices, modern pieces for very little. But the company has always marked pieces with marks that can be dated. The most famous is the RP mark with ...Read more

SCHS art teacher fired-up about kiln
Sedalia Democrat, July 28th

Faith Bemiss | DemocratSmith-Cotton High School art teacher Michael Shukers talks about the firing capabilities of the raku kiln he's been building this summer. He will be teaching area students about the process of creating raku fine art pottery. × ...Read more