Founded in 1880 by Maria Longworth Nichols, Rookwood pottery is a favorite of 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 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 the entire piece with decoration versus just the front as was previously done, and Laura Fry created the atomizer, allowing artists to evenly apply glazes and use color gradations. In the early 1900s, Rookwood began using matte finishes and vellum glaze, a translucent matte glaze.
Collectors should note that the vast majority of Rookwood pieces are very clearly marked. Very early pieces say “Rookwood,” and later pieces (starting in the mid-1880s) feature the Rookwood logo: a backwards R and P side-by-side. Rookwood closed its factory in the 1960s, but the copyright has been continuously enforced.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
Cowan Pottery Museum Associates
The Pottery Studio
Clubs & Associations
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Rookwood Art Pottery
Source: Google News
A Sale Two Years in the MakingMaine Antique Digest, July 1st
Generally, the offerings were grouped, with quilts selling, then pottery, then metalware, etc. The Soap Hollow chest of drawers that ... Among the smalls were an 18" butter bowl in yellow ($550), miniature ink and watercolor rural farm scene ($1400), 7...Read more
Union Township Library celebrates 100 years - PHOTOLedger Independent, June 26th
Hans T. Liebert was engaged as the architect of the project, and designed the charming and distinctive Prairie-style building, with ribbon windows, a tile roof, and custom decorative tiles made by the Rookwood Pottery in Cincinnati. The library opened...Read more
How America Acquired a Taste for Japanese ArtWall Street Journal, June 23rd
Ceramist Maria Longworth Nichols (1849-1932) purchased these through Rookwood Pottery, the company she founded in 1880, but it was not she who selected them. Japanese artist Kitaro Shirayamadani (1865-1948) did. Nichols hired him as lead ...Read more
Things to do this weekend: June 26-28Cincinnati.com, June 22nd
513-421-9376; www.cincinnatipride.org. June 26: Rookwood Pottery June Final Friday, 5-8 p.m., Rookwood Pottery Company Store, 1209 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine. Rookwood Pottery Company celebrates Major League Baseball's All-Star Game with "The ...Read more
Discover the hip side of CincinnatiIndianapolis Star, June 19th
Don't miss the Rookwood Pottery Company Store, carrying charming pieces from a city landmark. Stay: OTR has only one inn, a nine-room boutique B&B called Symphony Hotel, but downtown offers dozens of lodging options. The art-centric 21C Museum ...Read more
Wade cuts back hours as head of Rookwood PotteryCincinnati Business Courier, April 29th
Rookwood Pottery is one of the city's most iconic brands, dating back to its 1880 founding by Maria Longworth and status as one of the best American ceramic art companies. “I like the excitement of taking risks and because entrepreneurship enables me...Read more
Rookwood Pottery CEO Wade exits roleCincinnati.com, April 28th
Martin Wade is leaving management of day-to-day operations at the Rookwood Pottery Co. Wade, 65, gathered Rookwood employees Monday to inform them of his exit, according to sources with knowledge of the meeting. He has served as the company's ...Read more
Rookwood Pottery owner plans $75 million development in Over-the-RhineCincinnati Business Courier, November 26th
Wade, the owner of Rookwood Pottery Co., plans to develop a large chunk of properties around the historic Grammer's German restaurant at Walnut and East Liberty streets. The three-phase project would include nearly 100 apartments, 40,000 square feet of ...Read more