Rookwood Pottery Company
Mount Adams, Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Kunst-Töpferei / Art Pottery.
Founded by Maria Longworth Nichols in 1880. Managed by William Watts Taylor 1883 - 1913. The pottery enjoyed prosperous times up to and through the 1920's, but was
hit hard by the Great Depression. In 1934 it made its first trading loss and in 1941, filed for bankruptcy. Limited production continued, but in 1959 the company was
purchased by the Herschede Clock Company and production moved to Starkville, Mississippi. Unable to recover from the losses, production ceased in 1967.
Michigan dentist, art pottery collector and Rookwood enthusiast, Dr. Arthur Townley purchased the company in 1982, then resold it to another Rookwood enthusiast,
Christopher Rose who in 2006, brought it back to Cincinnati. It is still trading today.
Initially, all the pottery executed by Maria Longworth Nichols and her friends were individual unique studio pieces. William Watts Taylor introduced a more structured production process by involving a large number of artists whose works were characterized by slip-painting, resulting in low relief, together with glazes in a variety of colours. The artists themselves slip-painted moulded bodies using atomized sprayers with different colours of slip. While it was common to work from a stock illustration, each piece is unavoidably unique. The most popular glaze, referred to as their "standard glaze", was a dark greenish brown which was applied in a gradient, often shading from a light gold or yellow to dark brown, as shown below. This glaze was very suitable for depictions of fruit, berries, plants and other organic themes. At a later stage they turned to less artistic works, often monotone coloration, more mass production oriented. Lidded steins were only made around the 1890's. Whilst mugs which were never intended to be lidded are reasonably common among their works, Rookwood operated a small "in house" pewter works between 1894 and 1897, and a small number of steins were actually lidded there.
Villeroy & Boch - Mettlach produced a range of steins which emulated the style of glaze, but majored on portraits, whereas Rookwood portraits are relatively rare.
Among many others, these following artists and glazers were employed by Rookwood Pottery:
Artus van Briggle Daniel Cook Matthew Andrew "Matt" Daly Edith Regina Felton Robert Bruce Horsfall Margaret McDonald William Purcell McDonald
Sturgis Laurence Mary Madeline Nourse Kataro Shirayamadani Sarah "Sallie" Alice Toohey Grace Young