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

Something Old: The changing tastes of collectors
Foster's Daily Democrat, April 10th

And 18th-century English Staffordshire ceramics are not as wanted as much as Ohio-made 20th-century Rookwood pottery. Many auction galleries are holding special auctions that feature furniture, glass, pottery, jewelry and even toys made after 1950...Read more

Pueblo's Thatcher Building: 100 years later
Pueblo Chieftain, April 7th

Rookwood Pottery of Cincinnati was started in the mid-19th century by Maria Longworth and named for her family's Cincinnati estate. The pottery gained international recognition in 1889 at a prestigious Paris exhibition. The three murals in the banking...Read more

Karsh original 'the pivotal moment' of his career
Waterloo Record, April 3rd

A. Cincinnati-based Rookwood was founded in 1880 by Maria Longworth Nichols, daughter of that city's wealthiest family. Nichols experimented with pottery glazes and hired top artists, eventually developing one of the country's top potteries. Several of...Read more

Art Beat: Works by 20 women artists presented at The Gallery at The Tech Garden
The Post-Standard, March 31st

Ceramic works are by Wayne Higby, Rookwood Pottery, Zenji Miyashita, Curtis and Susan Benzle, Dorothy Staller, Graham Marks, Grueby-Faience Company and John Pagliaro. The works are from the Everson's permanent collection. The exhibition is in the ...Read more

John Sewell's This Old Thing
Windsor Star (blog), March 28th

The finish is known as standard glaze, and the Sioux Chief in full headdress is undeniably striking. Rookwood art pottery is rare, and I'd say your grandsons will be fighting over a piece that's currently worth about $2,000. John Sewell is an antiques...Read more