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    

Early Van Briggle Mistletoe Pot In Green With Brown/deep Burgundy Glaze 1903 Stunning Ruskin High Fired Art Pottery Vase C.1933Superb Dated R.w Martin Brothers London Southall Pottery Lilies Jug - MarkedRare Antique Wedgwood Creamware Pottery Chocolate Cup & Cover C1800 - 20 Vintage Arequipa California 3-1/2" Arts & Crafts Vase Circa 1911-1918Rare Antique Wedgwood Creamware Pottery Chocolate Cup & Cover C1800 - 20 Large Beswick 2 Horses Shire Stagecoach Horse And Cart Bes Wick AnimalMatte Green~curdled Glaze~~8" American Art Pottery Vase~segmented Handle~nice!Huge Royal Dux Bohemia Afternoon Tea Antique Porcelain Centerpiece Figurine YqzArie Meaders Alkaline Pottery Green Jug Lanier Edgefield Georgia Alabama CatawbaClarice Cliff Art Deco Bizarre Orange Hydrangea Coffee Pot Vibrant & StunningNorth Carolina Log Cabin Textured Green Tan Glaze Art Pottery VaseScarce Roseville Rosecraft Panel Nude Silhouette 11" Art Pottery Vase C.1920sRare Art Nouveau Roseville Persian Jardinière And PedestalPair Of Early 19th C English Pearlware Printed American Rural Sheep Scene BowlsFine Monumental Bernard Moore Flambe Ceramic Lustre Dragon Vase Art Nouveau DecoAntique Moorcroft Bisquit Box, Pattern Eventide, Signed, Excellent ConditionRoseville Blackberry 570-5 Art Pottery VaseSigned Warren Mackenzie Large Studio Pottery Bowl Important Minnesota Artist NrWedgwood Jasper Ware Lilac TeapotStunning 19thc Staffordshire Giraffe Under Palm Tree On Naturalistic Base C1880sVintage Italian Majolica Tin Glaze Faience Jardiniere By Milan Italy Pottery YqzMonumental & Fantastic Jugtown Ware Nc Vintage Chinese Blue Urn VaseVery Rare Soft Sugar T G Green Cornish Ware Large Storage Jar - Black BackstampDella Robbia Arts & Crafts Pottery Dish Birkenhead - Decorator Ted Ackerley 1901Large Clarice Cliff Art Deco Plate - Original Bizarre Pattern Circa 1928Clarice Cliff Large Size Fantasque Bizarre Secrets Beehive Preserve Pot. AfAntique 19th C Bennington Pottery Rockingham Glaze Yellow Ware Candlestick Rare1957 Harding Black Studio Art Pottery Bowl DishRoseville Raymor Ben Seibel Serving Set With Gilley Holder1940 Vintage Roseville Brown Freesia Jardiniere & Pedestal Art Pottery 669-8 Yqz1930's Weller Organic Green Matte Glaze Arts & Craft "manhattan Line" VaseAntique Art Nouveau 1910 Teplitz Vase Amphora Pottery Water Lilies6-pc Victoria Austria Tea Coffee Set W/ Tray Green W/ Signed Hp Romantic ScenesClarice Cliff Art Deco Bizarre Biarritz Green Clytia Lidded Tureen RareMoorcroft Nspcc Plaque! Castles In The Air! First Quality! Stunning! Rrp £625!Wedgwood Green Jasper Ware 3 Piece Tea Set Clarice Cliff Super Rare Bizarre Bubbles Elephant Napkin Holder. BeautifulVintage Roseville Green Pinecone Vase & 6 Candle Holders Rare Art Pottery SignedAntique Signed 19thc Japanese Satsuma Pottery Vase, Dragons, Octopus, & BirdsBeautiful Nippon Floral Vase - Enamel IrisesVintage Van Briggle Art Pottery Bowl Vase, Mulberry Glaze, Leaf Design, NrAntique Weller Hand Painted Vase W/ Bird Design 15" X 5" No Reserve (s.a.j.)Tiny Signed Grueby Pottery Boston Cabinet VaseSuperb Mid 19thc Staffordshire Male Farmhand Figure With Seated Dog C1860sA Very Good Pottery C19th Minton Majolica Tazza With Pierced Rim - C1870Old Mccarty Pottery Giant Platter - Rare Huge 16" Niloak Pottery Mission Swirl Floor VaseSuperb Pair: Mid 19thc Staffordshire Large Spaniel Dogs With Spill Vases C1860sAn Early C18th English Delft Pancake Plate - C1730Susie Cooper Art Deco Modernist Bowl - Triangles, Squiggles & Spots Circa 1931Vintage 1950s Fornasetti Plate Tema A Variazioni #17 RareMccoy Pottery Lizard Handle Lily Pad Vase In Matte Tan To Green Glaze 1929 10"Nippon Portrait Vase - Gold & Jewels'voodoo Bob' A Surreal Southern Folk Art Face Jug Sculpture By Ron Dahline1933 "8.75" X 7.5" "roseville Falline 649-8 C VaseVintage Hull - Little Red Riding Hood Bank Mackenzie Childs Fish Dish Small Plate VintageSuperb 19thc Staffordshire Nesting Hen On Egg Basket Tureen C1880sVintage Van Briggle Pottery Mulberry 3 Handled 3 Toed Vase

Recent News: Art Pottery

Source: Google News

Food, entertainment return in familiar setting
ThisWeekNews, August 31st

Imported clothing, beauty products, jewelry and art -- pottery, paintings, ceramics and photography -- will add to the cultural spirit of the festival, said Stacey Stathulis, a spokesman for the festival. "The Greek Fest continues to be popular in...Read more

Snellville displays works of local artists in city hall
Gwinnettdailypost.com, August 31st

Potter Stephanie Phelan has her functional art pottery on display at Snellville city hall. Phelan creates works of art inspired by the ocean. (Special Photo). photo. Glass artist Hung Nguyen replicates the beauty of nature in his glass art pieces...Read more

Hungry for Souls
Commonweal, August 31st

Serra may have felt himself to have landed in Eden at first, but perhaps not all Indians did. True, California tribes had their own sustaining faith systems, mastery in art, pottery, and canoe-building, and great skills in hunting, fishing, and...Read more

10 short hops
Philly.com, August 29th

jewelry, folk art, pottery, photography, and other media. Held in conjunction with the Annual Farmer & Foodie Festival. Historic Georgetown Art Crawl, Georgetown, Sept. 13. www.georgetowncoc.com/event/chamber-events/historic-georgetown-art-crawl ...Read more

Art Beat takes place Saturday in downtown South Bend
South Bend Tribune, August 27th

It's photography, sculpture, jewelry, fabric art, pottery, film, woodcarving — among many others. Local artist Danielle Wilborn says visitors should make sure to walk to the ends of all of the blocks. You'll never know what you'll find around the...Read more

Cincinnati story behind the Western & Southern trophy
Cincinnati.com, August 22nd

(The company creates awards for institutions and organizations, but are mostly known for architectural tile and art pottery.) The attention The Western & Southern Open Champions Cup generates is an opportunity for the company to promote the other work...Read more

Art Scene
Glenwood Springs Post Independent, August 20th

Dizzy Dean, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher and legendary sports broadcaster, always got right to the point, and we are in complete agreement with ole Diz. We just completed one terrific summer of art, pottery and theater camps by doing what we planned to...Read more

Rare pottery exhibit at Shelton House
Smoky Mountain News, August 5th

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