Founded in 1880 by Maria Longworth Nichols, Rookwood pottery is a favorite of art pottery collectors for the quality of its pieces, which were hand-decorated by a diverse group of artists (though some simpler pieces were mass-produced, especially during the Depression).
Rookwood pieces were sold at the factory showroom in Cincinnati, Ohio, and at jewelry and department stores nationwide. Drawing from European and Asian styles, the company was very involved with the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movements, and its pieces are still prized as some of the best examples of those styles.
In addition to its signature vases, Rookwood also produced architectural tile and smaller items such as bookends, paperweights, and figurines. There were between 20 and 25 artists decorating pieces at the Rookwood factory at any given time; some of the most notable included Kataro Shirayamadani, Albert Valentine, Sara Sax, and Jens Jensen.
Rookwood’s artists were innovative and helped change the way art pottery was created and designed. Kataro Shirayamadani covered entire pieces with decoration versus just the front as was previously done, while Laura Fry created the atomizer, allowing artists to evenly apply glazes and use color gradations. In the early 1900s, Rookwood artists began using matte finishes and vellum glaze, a translucent matte glaze.
Collectors should note that the vast majority of Rookwood pieces are clearly marked. Early pieces say “Rookwood” and later pieces (starting in the mid-1880s) feature the Rookwood logo, which features a backwards R and P side-by-side. Rookwood closed its factory in the 1960s, but the copyright was continuously enforced. Then, in 2004, the company was revived in Cincinnati, where today Rookwood artisans continue to produce everything from vases to mugs to candlesticks.
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Home Tour: The Hyde Park home of Maestro John Morris Russell offers well ...WCPO, February 12th
Also a favorite keepsake of hers is a small piece of Goedewaagen Pottery from the Netherlands that she displays in their Empire-style dining room along with new pieces of Rookwood, Teco and Pewabic pottery and an old Ohio piece by McCoy Pottery...Read more
Painted china by top artists fetches premium pricesHeraldNet, February 11th
Shirayamadani (1865-1948) was a Japanese artist at Rookwood Pottery in Cincinnati. Rudolph T. Lux (1815-1868) decorated white porcelain with portraits ordered by important politicians and businessmen in New Orleans, and William Powell (working 1900 ...Read more
Home and garden events coming upCincinnati.com, February 10th
Be My Valentine at Rookwood Pottery Co., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Rookwood Pottery Company Store, 1209 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine. Vases filled with fresh flowers at affordable prices. 513-631-2522; rookwood.com. Sunday, Feb. 14. Maple Syrup Making and ...Read more
Rookwood put city's art scene on mapThe News Record, February 7th
The Rookwood Pottery Company began as an underdog and quickly escalated into international renown. Beginning as an artistic outlet to experiment with foreign styles, Rookwood produced pieces at its peak that prestigious companies around the world ...Read more
Inspired Interiors: Arts and Crafts take center stage in 2016Indianapolis Star, February 5th
The new collection includes calla lily vases and pine cone trays right out of the turn of the 20th century, the glory years of Rookwood Pottery of Cincinnati. Rookwood tiles can be seen surrounding many Indianapolis fireplaces, in Grand Central Station...Read more
Historic Reiss murals get fresh updateCincinnati.com, February 5th
The Winold Reiss industrial murals are monuments to making. Each of the 23 mosaics is a testament to man and machine in Cincinnati. The quiet dignity of both work and the worker celebrated in thousands of brightly colored tiles. But these are not ...Read more
Rookwood Pottery has high hopes for Liberty Center storeWCPO, October 21st
LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio - It's a 23-mile drive from Rookwood Pottery Co.'s Over-the-Rhine headquarters to the Liberty Center development in Butler County. Or is it one small step in a retail strategy that could restore Rookwood as a national brand?...Read more
Rookwood Pottery to open boutique at Liberty CenterWLWT Cincinnati, October 12th
Like the Rookwood Pottery Co. store in downtown Cincinnati, the front of the store will carry art pottery. The back of the store will include a space for architectural installation displays and consultations, the company said. Rookwood's first retail...Read more