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...
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.
Interviews & Articles
I don’t remember the first Rookwood piece I ever bought, that’s getting close to 40 years ago. But I must have liked it, because I… [more]
The Rookwood Pottery has gone to war. This pioneer among American art potteries, founded by Maria Longworth Storer of Cincinnati, … [more]
I think it all started with a small pottery vase my mother obtained from the art pottery shop where she worked in the early 1920s … [more]
I started collecting Roycroft around 1992 when I visited the Peter Roberts Gallery in New York City. That was sort of the peak of … [more]
How did I get started collecting Arts and Crafts silver? My wife and I had been collecting Arts and Crafts items as far back as I … [more]
I’m the curator here at the museum in Rocky River, a suburb west of Cleveland. I look at Cowan pottery from a historian’s angle be… [more]
I’m the curator of the ceramics bit of the Bowes Museum. It’s a big museum with 30 galleries of which three or four are devoted to… [more]
I started collecting jewelry when I was about 13 years old. I was very close to an interior designer who took me to antiques shops… [more]
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Recent News: Rookwood Art Pottery
Source: Google News
Cincinnati Art Museum celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Cincinnati Wing ...The Cincinnati Herald, May 24th
The Rookwood Pottery Company played a major role in American art pottery at the beginning of the 20th century. Learn more about this significant part of Cincinnati's history with gallery talks led by our in-house Rookwood expert, Curator Anita Ellis...Read more
Work by Paul Evans, George Nakashima, and George Ohr Among Highlights of ...ArtfixDaily (press release), May 20th
Art Pottery, Furniture, Art Glass, Metalwork and Prints in 300 lots: Ceramics by Teco, Saturday Evening Girls and Rookwood, as well as some fine examples of grotesques by the Martin Brothers, an extensive collection of vessels and novelties by the Mad...Read more
Morphy's May 25 Fine Art & General Antiques Auction features broad selection ...Art Daily, May 14th
The Amphora selection will be followed by Zeck, Rookwood and Roseville pottery. Highlights include a Rookwood umbrella stand, Roseville Futura jardinière and pedestal, and Roseville 10in Sunflower vase. All three items carry individual estimates of...Read more
Rookwood production manager will create her own lineBusiness Courier of Cincinnati, May 10th
Williams will be shifting her focus to make her own line of tiles for the historic tile and pottery brand. Joe Wilhelm will step in as production manager at Rookwood, and he will oversee all existing and new product introductions. There will be a total...Read more
So Cincinnati: Union Terminal Art MuralsWKRC TV Cincinnati, May 10th
He photographed real moments - like a man shaping Rookwood Pottery - then turned them into paintings. The Museum Center has some of his one third scale cartoons. The Ravenna Tile Company used the cartoons to match color so their craftsmen could...Read more
All in the Family: Frys' treasures in Cincinnati WingCincinnati.com (blog), May 8th
And so began a five-decade period in which Cincinnati was at the center of the American Aesthetic movement that spawned Rookwood Pottery (founded by Maria Longworth Nichols) and elevated the status of women artists to international renown...Read more
'How It's Made' to feature Rookwood PotteryCincinnati.com (blog), May 1st
Rookwood Pottery Co. ceramic urns will be featured on “How It's Made” on May 16 (9 p.m., Science Channel), about the time a Science Channel crew returns to Rookwood's Over-the-Rhine studios to film artists making custom fireplace installations. The May...Read more
Rookwood Pottery gets double feature on national TV showBusiness Courier of Cincinnati, April 30th
Rookwood Pottery Co. will be featured on the Science Channel's “How It's Made” on May 16. The episode, taped at Rookwood's Over-the-Rhine studios and showroom in August 2012, displays how the historic company creates ceramic urns that were...Read more