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.
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Living on the Air in CincinnatiHockeybuzz.com (blog), September 2nd
For part of the time I I lived in Cincinnati, I had a beautiful apartment in a grand old home in Mt. Adams. Socially, I hung out at The Blind Lemon for drinks and frequent The Rookwood Pottery for dinner. The Blind Lemon had an outdoor bonfire in its...Read more
Morse Museum in Winter Park 2014-15 seasonOrlando Sentinel, August 28th
In this new exhibit, the Morse presents a representative group of the lovely gifts that survive from the Morse-Genius wedding, including Tiffany art glass, Rookwood pottery and Gorham silver. • Louis Comfort Tiffany's Laurelton Hall: Curator tours...Read more
Chris Rose carving out new niche with AryaCincinnati.com, August 22nd
Rose is now running Arya Design Partners, the startup he launched in 2011 after being forced out as Rookwood Pottery's CEO in 2010 following a high-profile power struggle with two investors. Arya, which makes interior and exterior fixtures for...Read more
Rago to Auction 2400+ Lots of Estate and Unreserved Property on September ...ArtfixDaily (blog), August 20th
The sale begins with early 20th c. design, including pottery by George Ohr, Marblehead, Grueby, Teco, Van Briggle, Martin Bros., Rookwood, Fulper, Roseville and Weller; furniture by Stickley and Roycroft; glass by Lalique, Galle and Daum; and lighting...Read more
MAINE TWO-DAY ESTATES AUCTIONMaine Antique Digest, August 8th
“Lavinia”/”Autumn Breezes”/”The Tinsmith”/”Village Blacksmith” pitcher & others, Pr. 11 ¾” Satsuma vase w/people & Foo dog handles, Pr. of Minton framed Art pottery tile pics. w/man & woman etc., Royal Bayreuth “Nursery Tales” pin tray, Rookwood fig. sgn...Read more
Union Terminal murals in danger of losing their history at CVGFOX19, August 4th
"This is one of two murals depicting Rookwood pottery, a business here in Cincinnati," said Gampfer. [See photos of the murals here]. Each of the murals depict a Cincinnati industry. The artist Winold Reiss traveled to several places in Cincinnati and...Read more