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    

Alan Wallwork Studio Pottery Stoneware Pierced Crescent Form Signed "aw"Rare Vintage Beswick Rocking Horse Grey Shire Horse Face Left #1053 Stunning!!Fantastic & Unusual Pair Of Royal Doulton Lambeth Stoneware Vases Antique An Exceptional Moorcroft "orchid" Pattern Roll Rim Vase. Frilled And Slipper.Art Deco Carlton Ware Summer Flowers VaseClarice Cliff Art Deco Bizarre Nasturtium Fruit Bowl Rare Truly StunningClarice Cliff Bizarre Delecia Citrus Pattern Plate Newport Pottery 1932 Art DecoRoyal Worcester Signed William Ricketts Fruit Painted Cup & Saucer 1916 AntiqueScarce Montacello Roseville Art Pottery Vase 5" Two Handle C1932 AquaRare Sarreguemines Novelty Tobacco Jar Humidor Monkey Piano Majolica Antique NrRstk Riessner Stellmacher & Kessel Art Nouveau Astrian Teplitz Amphora #477 VaseRare 8.25" 19thc Victorian Black Wedgwood Jasperware Dancing Hours Urn Vase A.f.Carl-harry Stalhane - Studio Vase - Rorstrand - Sweden - 1950sWedgwood Art Deco Keith Murray Moonstone So Rare Bee-hive Vase Truly Stunning Gunnar Nylund - Studio Bowl - Rorstrand - Sweden - 1950sMoorcroft Rare Large Trial Art Deco Semi-nude Weller Pottery Hobartware Figural Green Wall Pocket Hobart Beautiful C. 1880's French Clement Massier Art Pottery Vase Weller Sicard MentorVintage Beswick Horse Welsh Cob Standing~ Grey Gloss ~ Model #1793 2nd VersionRare 1st V Vintage Beswick Blue Budgie Budgerigar Bird Face Left Flowers #1216 Rare 1930's Royal Doulton Dickens Dream Jug Designed By Charles NokeMark Hewitt / Bulbous Wood-fired "wmh" VasePair Small Antique English Staffordshire Pottery Poodle Dogs ... NrVintage And Very Fine Signed Vivika & Otto Heino Studio Art Pottery Red Vase NrJack Troy / Porcelain Anagama Bowl1930s Roseville Sunflower Hanging BasketMoorcroft Anna Lily Vase! First Quality!! Rarer Shape! Mint! Bargain!Large Troika Pottery Cornwall Double Bass Base Vase Great Design Alison BrigdenOtto Heino / **rare** Huge (16") Yellow Charger / Wall HangingClarice Cliff Art Deco Bizarre Delecia Peaches Conical Rare Tea Duo StunningClarice Cliff Art Deco Bizarre Green Ravel Conical Tea Duo StunningMoorcroft Anna Lily Vase! First Quality!! Rarer Shape! Mint! Bargain!Wedgwood Blue Jasperware Large Bowl ~ Dancing Hours *41Roseville Vista Art Pottery Floor Vase 14 3/4" Tall Arts And Crafts Pottery Nr. Exquisite Nymphenburg Horse Figurine White With Gray Mane & Tail Bursley Ware C1926 ' Arabian ' Gold Vase Frederick Rhead Design Of Pansies *9Vintage Karen Karnes Studio Pottery Large Vessel W/ Turned Handle LidRare Antique Early Dated 1901 Rye Sussex Ware Pottery Hops Beer Jug Signed Clarice Cliff Stepped Bowl In Bamboo Pattern Art Deco 1930sSuperb Rookwood Art Pottery Vase #6307f 1932 Stunning In DetailLarge Chunky William Moorcroft Art Pottery Pomegranate Vase Stunning Mid19thc Large Majolica Asparagus Tray With Wonderful Decor C1860Rare And Beautiful English Plate By Poole PotteryRare Antique E.s Craven 2gal. Jug Salt Glaze Stoneware Circa 1810-1893 Nc Nr!!A Large And Impressive Moorcroft Saltglazed "anemone" Vase. Roll Rim, 9 3/4".Rare Vintage Large Rimni Blue Ram Sculpture Aldo Londi Design Bitossi Italy Vintage Czech Wall Pocket Little Bird On Ear Of Corn Awesome Display Piece+++Antique Art Deco Nouveau Van Briggle Pottery Matte Blue Nude Cherub Figure LampVintage Sylvac Unusual Yellow Chipmunk/rabbit About 4.3/4" High - ExcellentRobert Arneson Sculpture-vessel / American-california Studio Pottery/ SignedEarly Rookwood Art Pottery Basket Vase 1889 Standard Glaze PerfectRare~ Experimental Van Briggle Early 1900's 'lady At The Lake' Large Piece1930's Art Deco Clarice Cliff "original Bizarre" Fruit BowlWiltshaw & Robinson Carlton Ware Lustred Vase ' Pagoda ' Chinoiserie Scene *2 Early Lanier Meader Face Jug ~ Rock Teeth ~ Southern Folk Art PotterySuperb Mid 19thc Staffordshire Bearded Collie Dog With Farmyard Fence C1860Mackenzie Childs 1983 Fish PlatterClarice Cliff 11.1/2" Lotus Jug In Windbells - Perfect.Large Antique Rozenburg Den Haag Tile Plaque Dutch Delftware Pottery Signed3 Vintage Keele Street Pottery England Graduated Flying Ducks Mallards Excellent

Recent News: Art Pottery

Source: Google News

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

Red Wing pottery collection gets an upgrade: column
Stevenspointjournal, July 27th

Besides dinnerware, Robin says 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 fun...Read more

Rookwood pottery
Washington Observer Reporter, July 26th

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

Roseville became masters of the pottery process
Orillia Packet & Times, July 25th

F rom about 1875 until about 1925, there were more than 200 American companies producing American Art Pottery. One of the more prolific of these companies was the Roseville Pottery Company. Roseville produced wares with design elements from several ...Read more

Email Garth's Auctions August Eclectic Features Ohio Pottery & Much More
ArtfixDaily (blog), July 25th

Fine art pottery to be sold including New Orleans Newcomb College Vase by artist Henrietta Bailey(pictured far left). The vase is signed and marked “HD98" under the base and carries a presale estimate of $1,600-1,800. Garth's Auctioneers. Tweet...Read more

Paul: UGA's Newcomb pottery exhibit is a treasure
Online Athens, July 13th

The exhibition provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study and enjoy a significant collection of major American art pottery and other works made in the South from the late 1890s to 1940. We are fortunate that this collection has been on display...Read more

Bigfork Museum of Art's Pottery Exhibit
Flathead Beacon, July 7th

The Bigfork Museum of Art and History will feature a nice cross-cut of Montana's pottery artists in its latest exhibit, “Montana Pottery II.” The show will run from July 11 to Aug. 9, and feature more than 20 potters and clay artists from all over...Read more

Hull Pottery enthusiasts to converge on Crooksville
Logan Daily News, July 3rd

Hull Pottery started out with stoneware and later progressed to kitchenware and finally on to the matte and semi-gloss pastel vases and art pottery. These range in more than 40 art ware patterns. The love of this pottery runs deep in the veins of its...Read more