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    

1907 Newcomb College Pottery Match Holder~peaches~j.myer~a.romanAntique Weller Pottery Baldin Apple Art Nouveau Jardiniere Pedestal Stand Nr YqzRose Cabat Lime Green Weed Pot Feelie Vase Silky Drip GlazeRoseville Early Velmoss 8" Cylindrical Vase Matte Green Vertical LeafEdwin & Mary Scheier / Monumental Figural Chalice 19thc Antique Signed Fs, French Faience, Hand Painted Art Pottery Vase Pot, NrClarice Cliff Windbells Drum Jampot C.19331905 Rookwood Pottery Matte Green Diminutive Squatty Bowl ~ Incised Swirl 22zAntique Art Nouveau Majolica Blended Glaze Jardiniere Planter Mccoy Pottery YqzRare Burmantofts Leeds Fireclay Co.grotesque Dragon/serpent Advert Dish C1900 #2Charming Beswick Large Standing Fox Ornament Original Box - 450 U03Absolutely Rare Lanier Meaders Pixie Face Jug Circa 1970's EarlyBeautiful & Unusual Antique Italian Cantagalli Faience Pottery Wall Plaque PlateAntique Robinson Ransbottom Pottery Blue Poppy Art Nouveau Umbrella Stand Nr YqzSet Of 12 Carter Tiles Poole Pottery Dutch Scenes Joseph RoelantsVintage Fornasetti Milano Italian Pottery Dish Teatro Alla Scala Norma Opera A Good Large Antique Royal Doulton Art Nouveau Pottery Vase By Lily PartingtonKeith Murray Rare Black Balsalt 3870 Vase - Stunning Ernst Wahliss Art Nouveau Large Amphora Maidens Vase Circa 1900Rookwood Vase, Carl SchmidtVintage Arts & Crafts/ Art Deco Fulper Pottery Green Glaze Vase Unique !'retro Ronny Deee' A Surreal Folk Art Face Mug/cup By Face Jug Maker Ron DahlineLisa Larson Gustavsberg Tiger Mid Century Terracotta Sweden So Cute!!Antique C 1899 Majolica Chinoiserie Butterfly Relief Pottery Umbrella Stand YqzOutstanding 9" Fulper #573 - MintSuperb & Orig. Clarice Cliff Art Deco Period Hand Decorated Toast Rack C1920/3sFive Antique Old Delft Pottery Tiles Blue Painted Holland NetherlandsSuperb Pair: Mid 19thc Staffordshire Thomas Parr Cows With Male & Female C1860sHarlander Trivet Or Trinket Tray Fish Design In GreenWeller Pottery Jardiniere Cats Stalking Birds In Garden Trellis Of RosesVery Rare Troika Pottery St Ives Small Geometric Vase Bridge Candle Holder AfRockwood Turquoise Vase Mold #2330 5" High Estate Auction #128" Ephraim Pottery Matte Green Bungalow Vase - Mint!Ruskin High Lustre Vase 1924Antique Majolica Blended Glaze Hand Painted Pottery Umbrella Stand Nouveau YqzMotawi Art Tile Montana De Oro 6" X 8" Beautiful! Decorative Fireplace Signed William Moorcroft Art Pottery Maroon Hibicus Art Nouveau 8;5" Plate BowlIncredible 7" Van Briggle Dragonfly - Mint!!1999 Mackenzie Childs Courtly Check & Stripes Planter / Pot / Vase ~with Flaws~Lisa Larson For Gustavsberg Sweden Pottery CatRare Wiener Werkstatte Sculptural Vase By Gudrun Baudisch/ Austrian SecessionistBeautiful Sitzendorf Dresden Porcelain Lace Figurine With Basket.Harlander Plate Blue Decorated With Ladies DesignClarice Cliff Patina Country 360 Vase C.1933Rare Vintage Roseville Art Pottery Imperial Ii Wall PocketOriginal Signed Bernard Moore Flambé Pottery Miniature Cat Rare ModelHand Thrown 3 Handle Stangl Fulper Vase Amazing Blended Glaze Unmarked18th C English Creamware Bear Baiting And Cub Jug - No Head !!Attractive Antique Spongeware Pearlware Pottery 'pea Fowl' Cups And A BowlVintage Lady Head Vase Japan Red Wreath Mark Elegant Earrings Hat Bow FlowerClarice Cliff 7" Athens Jug In Delicia Pansies - Perfect.Stunning Unusual Clarice Cliff Mug - Japan Rare Van Briggle Arts And Crafts Tall Brown Pottery Vase Signed 1920 -- Mint!Victorian Scottish Cumnock Pottery Sugar Shaker " Sugar " " Help Yersel "Karen Karnes / Vintage Small Bowl Vintage Signed Charles Lisk Face Jug Catawba Valley Pottery Blue Glaze 10"Antique Majolica Blended Glaze Brown To Red Pottery Umbrella Stand Nouveau YqzRookwood Pottery Vase Iris Pattern 6"x5" 1926 Incised 363 No Chips Or CracksMoorcroft Tall Vase! Honeysuckle Haven! Rachel Bishop! Rrp £645! Antique Staffordshire Blue Transferware Reticulated Footed Basket Bowl C1840

Recent News: Art Pottery

Source: Google News

Gallery | 33rd annual Craftsmen's Summer Classic
Myrtle Beach Sun News, July 31st

Some of items for sale include whimsical pieces, fine art, pottery, glass, jewelry, baskets, clothing, furniture, sculpture, photography, wooden pens, specialty food and collectibles. Admission is $8 for adults and $1 for children ages six to 12. The...Read more

Pottery haul: Centre of Ceramic Art opens at York Art Gallery
wallpaper.com, July 31st

After a two-year, £8m transformation, York Art Gallery re-opens this weekend. Photography: Red Jester. The expansion includes a new mezzanine level in the roof space, under a gloriously restored vaulted Victorian ceiling. It is pictured here with Helen...Read more

VINTAGE AND VALUABLE: Old California pottery is new again
Press-Enterprise, July 30th

This is ground zero for the resurrected Bauer Pottery Co. of Los Angeles, the granddaddy of several companies that turned out dishes and art pottery before and after World War II. Bauer pieces were once a utilitarian staple in grandma's cupboard. By...Read more

Art Scene
Glenwood Springs Post Independent, July 30th

Dance, art, pottery, music and cultural history are taught through the historical experience and artistic esthetic of different countries. We collaborate with local schools, nonprofits and businesses to provide quality outreach programming. Our new...Read more

Pottery firms support The Sentinel's campaign to bring WW1 poppy display to ...
Stoke Sentinel, July 28th

POTTERY firms are backing a bid to bring thousands of ceramic poppies created as part of a First World War memorial to Stoke-on-Trent. The Wave and Weeping Window display is set to tour the country stopping at a list of chosen destinations this year...Read more

Rare pottery exhibit at Shelton House
Smoky Mountain News, July 15th

Functional and art pottery was made in a variety of shapes and glaze combinations, partially due to the influx of potters from different traditions. Potters west of Asheville around Candler came mostly from South Carolina. Weaverville area potters...Read more

Pottery collectors society celebrates anniversary
Evansville Courier & Press, July 14th

Ninety pieces of Uhl pottery were put up for auction, selling for more than $11,000 with the top piece of Jane Uhl art pottery selling for $600. A $500 academic scholarship was also awarded during the convention to Wes Richardson, of Washington...Read more

Zanesville Museum of Art features Pottery Collector's Unique Assortment
WHIZ, July 9th

"He used to take me to the auctions, and so his bit was, he looked for American Art Pottery," said Council. "We were running late. I go out and I see this one place and he goes 'do you see any pottery and I say 'yeah' he asked me if it was marked and I...Read more