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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Entire collection sold at Bretby Art Pottery auction held in SwadlincoteBurton Mail, March 31st
EVERY single item at an art pottery auction has sold – to the delight of a group of historians. In total 1,963 pieces of Bretby Art Pottery went under the hammer after the collection was purchased by the Magic Attic, an archive history group based at...Read more
Thomas Aaron Garlow CD Release PartyMorganton News Herald, March 31st
Festivities will be held at Bottegas, an eclectic shop boasting extraordinary collections of all types of art, pottery and women's fashion. In addition, the shop includes a hair salon and a multipurpose venue downstairs, where the party will be held...Read more
MHS students compete in Mid-Illini art competitionMorton Times News, March 31st
Page 2 of 2 - Judging the competition this year was Susie Mathews of Wheel Art Pottery Studios, William Buttler of the Contemporary Art Center and Kevin May. Gettler said all judges are involved in the Peoria area art community. Other MHS students who ...Read more
Why Frank Lloyd Wright Didn't Want Art Hung In His HomesHuffington Post, March 30th
Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright is recognized for designing incredible houses, museums and offices, many of which double as works of art. And that might just be how he wanted them viewed by the public. According to a recent interview with Andrea ...Read more
Bretby Art Pottery up for grabs at auction in Swadlincote todayBurton Mail, March 28th
SOME of South Derbyshire's most iconic pottery will go on sale today as part of a special auction. A selection of Bretby Art Pottery was due to be auctioned off today from 10.30am at an event at Sharpe's Pottery Museum, in West Street, Swadlincote...Read more
Bretby Art Pottery will go up for sale in auction run by the Magic Attic at ...Burton Mail, March 27th
A RANGE of some of South Derbyshire's most iconic pottery will go on sale in an event at Sharpe's Pottery Museum, in Swadlincote. A selection of Bretby Art Pottery can be vieweed at the Swadlincote site during the event running from 5pm until 8pm this ...Read more
Huge haul of Bretby art pottery to go under the hammerBurton Mail, March 15th
A RANGE of some of South Derbyshire's most iconic pottery is returning to the region and going on sale. A total of 1,963 items of Bretby Art Pottery have been bought from a London collector by the Magic Attic, a Swadlincote-based archive history group...Read more
Anita Harris Art Pottery donates piece to Sir Stanley Matthews FoundationStoke Sentinel, March 11th
Ask a non-Stokie the first things that come into their mindwhen asked about Stoke-on-Trent, and you can bet that the words "Pottery" and"Sir Stanley Matthews" would be high on the list. And the two were marriedtogether recently as Anita Harris Art...Read more