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”)



This archived overview produced by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts offers thumbnail sketches of the design moveme… [read review or visit site]

Gouda Design

Gouda Design

Stuart Lonsdale and Kim Lindley's excellent tribute to and reference on Gouda Dutch Art Pottery and Delftware. The … [read review or visit site]

Cowan Pottery Museum Associates

Cowan Pottery Museum Associates

Dedicated to raising awareness of the ceramic art work of R. Guy Cowan and his Cowan Pottery Studio in northeastern… [read review or visit site]

Chicago Silver

Chicago Silver

Paul Somerson's incredible reference on handwrought metalwork from the American Arts and Crafts movement of the ear… [read review or visit site]

The Pottery Studio

The Pottery Studio

This 7,000-plus page site lives up to its self-billing as a 'knowledge base' with examples of work from all major a… [read review or visit site]

1910 Metal

1910 Metal

A detailed tribute to the lesser-known artistic metalwork craftsmen of the Arts and Crafts movement. In addition t… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Arts & Crafts Rookwood Art Deco Bird Vase - 1924Rookwood Pottery 1927 Vellum Vase #130 By Louise Abel, Artist Signed 7" TallRookwood Pottery Vellum Glaze Venetian Harbor Scene By Carl Schmidt, 6 5/8",19221888 Rookwood Pottery Vase Artist Signed Floral Carved Applied Design 5 1/8 In. Rare Rookwood Wall Pocket Circa 1900 Arts & Crafts NrAntique Rookwood Vase Signed E T Hurley 7 1/4 Inches Tall Rookwood Xxvii 2444d Elephant Bookends Trunks DownRookwood Matt Green Arts & Crafts Vase Circa 1917Rookwood Scenic Vellum 1921 Sally Coyne1912 Rookwood Incised Vase 8 1/2" Rookwood Pottery 1927 Vellum Vase #130 By Louise Abel, Artist Signed 7" Tall9 1/2" 1927 Artist Signed Rookwood VaseRookwood Pottery Madonna White Opal Glaze 1942Rookwood Pottery Bowl #2922 Sarah Sax 1928 Decorated Pumpkins Flowers RareAntique 5 1/4" Rookwood Art Pottery Handpainted Yellow Rose EwerRare 1916 Rookwood Flower Bowl #2169 Twigs & Berries Motif By Shirayamadani?Ma38 Antique Nm #3203 Rookwood Trivet 1925 "holland Boat Scene Mother & BabyRookwood Artist Signed 1925 Margaret Helen Mcdonald Vase- Perfect Condition!Rookwood Vase Mold 901d Matte Finish Artist Charles Jasper MclaughlinRookwood Arts & Crafts Vase 2403 Matte Pink Over Green Color Nice Cond 1920's !!Rookwood 1917 Vase Charles S.todd 935e 6 3/4" Exc Cond Arts Crafts3 Pc. Of Antique Miniature Rookwood Pottery Estate Fresh Signed Rookwood Pottery Green Vase ~5" Rookwood Pottery Production Vase # 19081935 Rookwood Vase - #6445 - Beautiful! - No Reserve!1939 Rookwood Xxxix 2456 Green Covered Lidded Box1945 Rookwood Vase - #6459 - No Reserve!Rookwood 6" Vase Margaret Mcdonald Artist Signed

Recent News: Rookwood Art Pottery

Source: Google News

Art worth the drive: 20 great museum artifacts in outstate Minnesota
Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 1st

Designed by John Bradstreet, the interior designer and tastemaker who helped found the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the room is filled with Arts and Crafts-era flourishes: pottery tiles from Cincinnati-based Rookwood, stained glass windows by the ...Read more

Wade cuts back hours as head of Rookwood Pottery
Cincinnati 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 role, 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

Things to do this weekend: May 1-3, April 26th

Trunk shows include: Paintings by local artists, jewelry, Rookwood Pottery. Benefits Cincinnati Art Museum. Free. 513-639-2958; May 1: It's a Party for Parker, 6:30-8 p.m., Eastside Christian Church, 5874 Montclair Blvd...Read more

Treasure: Rookwood prized among American art pottery
The Detroit News, April 23rd

Among American art pottery, Rookwood is at the top of the list. Founded by Maria Longworth Nichols in Cincinnati in 1880, the pottery found early success and recognition in 1883 at the Exhibition of American Art Industry in Philadelphia and the...Read more

Rookwood, Edie Harper studio team up for new products, April 21st

Fans of Edie Harper will soon have a new way to incorporate her art into their lives. Rookwood Pottery Co. and the estate of artist Edie Harper, two Cincinnati art treasures, partnered to produce two of the late artist's silkscreen prints as ceramic...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, November 18th

Recent tours hosted by The Rookwood Pottery Company at its Over-the-Rhine factory have been such a big hit that the company has decided to offer daily tours from Nov. 28 through Dec. 23. Forty Enquirer and readers toured the factory Nov...Read more