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.
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Recent News: Art Pottery
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Roseville pottery, nearly as famous as Rookwood, up for auctionWCPO, December 24th
Photo by Joseph Fuqua II for WCPO Riley Humler, auction director and art pottery expert holds Roseville Pottery at Humler & Nolan art auction gallery in downtown Cincinnati. JOSEPH FUQUA ll. Copyright 2014 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved...Read more
Art Around TownFlagpole Magazine, December 23rd
ATHENS-CLARKE COUNTY LIBRARY (2025 Baxter St.) “Seldom Seen: American Art Pottery: The Collection of Bill and Dorothy Paul” includes pieces by 100 potters made between the 1920s and 1940s. Through Jan. 18. BENDZUNAS GLASS (89 W. South ...Read more
Al Warr: Artists tackle the business side of selling their worksNJ.com, December 21st
The walk-in iconic kilns today house the Saturday Farmers Market, Somi Fine Art Gallery, Factory Fuel Co. coffee shop, Gyldcraft Antiques & Art Pottery, and there is still space available for events. Gathered around the old factory are other...Read more
Honoring Local Artists and Serving the CommunityCullmanSense, December 19th
We have canvas art, metal art, pottery and all different kinds of art. We would love for artists, every year, to bring things to get exposure for them, plus I like it too,” she giggled girlishly. Not only was the Chamber of Commerce thrilled with the...Read more
Alabamians can make some pretty amazing roadside art from old car partsAL.com, December 10th
Godwin uses all kinds of media for his art - pottery, paint, found objects - but he is not the only artist in the state who uses car parts to create giant roadside statuary. Below is a look at six Alabama artists who create car-part art. If you know of...Read more
Student/Faculty Pottery SaleWebster Today, December 6th
Stop by the Department of Art Pottery Sale Dec. 16-17 from 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and peruse the unique handmade pieces created by Webster students and faculty. Give some amazing and unique presents this year: handmade pottery! Come by the Department ...Read more
Athens-Clarke Library to display art pottery collection of Bill and Dorothy PaulOnline Athens, November 20th
In the past decade, Bill and Dorothy Paul have amassed a collection of more than 1,500 pieces of American art pottery. The library will show about 70 of the best vases, bowls and other pieces. Some are from well-known art pottery companies while others...Read more
D. Wilson Art Pottery & DesignHartford Courant, October 24th
A collection of lidded bunny vessels, shaped like eggs and topped with endearing, floppy-eared rabbits, are a staple of the shop. Wilson also carries his Mindful Meal dishware, with the words snack, nibble and bite engraved into the rim plus much more...Read more