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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Recent News: Rookwood Art Pottery

Source: Google News

A Questionable Shortcut to Home Decorating
Wall Street Journal, December 19th

Shouldn't all these surfaces be dressed with personal possessions—framed photos of the morose basset hounds you grew up with, souvenirs from the trip to China you barely survived, the vintage Rookwood pottery inherited from your great aunt Daphne?...Read more

At Lord & Taylor, a Peek at Bygone Ceramic Splendors
New York Times, December 4th

The space was lined in polychrome ceramic ornaments from the Rookwood Pottery factory in Cincinnati, known for decorating public spaces, including subway stations, restaurants and hotels. “Probably under there is all Rookwood,” Mr. Padwee said during a ...Read more

Rookwood Pottery owner plans $75 million development in Over-the-Rhine
Cincinnati 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

Rookwood Pottery adds daily tours through holidays
Cincinnati.com, November 18th

The Rookwood Pottery Company is at 1920 Race St., north of Findlay Market. 4 CONNECT 1 TWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE. Recent tours hosted by The Rookwood Pottery Company at its Over-the-Rhine factory have been such a big hit that the ...Read more

Rookwood pottery mark changed several times
AberdeenNews.com, November 16th

Rookwood pottery, made in Cincinnati since 1880, is perhaps the most popular American art pottery among collectors. The company not only made artist-decorated vases, molded bookends, art-deco figurines and commercial wares, but it also used marks that ...Read more

Rookwood Pottery prepares for holidays with special open house
WLWT Cincinnati, November 13th

Flash forward two decades and, much like its new home in Over-the-Rhine, Rookwood Pottery is bouncing back. “We go from Texas to L.A., to New York, and we even have a few dealers in Canada and one, I believe, in Alaska,” Swan said. With 73 dealers ...Read more

Artist-decorated Rookwood pottery very popular
HeraldNet, November 13th

Rookwood pottery, made in Cincinnati since 1880, is perhaps the most popular American art pottery among collectors. The company not only made artist-decorated vases, molded bookends, art-deco figurines and commercial wares, but it also used marks that ...Read more

Rookwood Pottery open house to feature tours
Cincinnati.com, November 6th

The Rookwood Pottery Company factory earlier this month, more than 100 of you asked to be included. (Graciously, the folks at Rookwood added a second tour.) The opportunity now opens to everyone during Rookwood's holiday open house Nov. 14-16...Read more