Grueby Faience Company of Boston

1897-1920

Grueby Vase

Just Art Pottery © 2007

Organized in 1897 by W. H. Grueby, G. P. Kendrick and W. H. Graves. Mr. Grueby is the discoverer of the glaze from which the ware takes its name, a glaze so soft and beautiful, so perfectly glossless, that at one bound it leaped into public favor. Mr. Kendrick designs the shapes, many of which display much originality. The decorations are of the simplest character, but it is a simplicity that is truly charming—a leaf, a half-unfolded flower, some trifling wayside suggestion, either incised or in slight relief, something to accentuate the color of the body. It is this masterly restraint, these mere suggestions, that give half the charm to Grueby-ware and make the eye dwell with affectionate longing on its beautiful velvety surface. Several colors have been successfully used, but the greens are by far the best. It is rarely a second color is used, and then only very sparingly. The name of the ware has become a generic one for mat glazes, and its success has brought out a number of imitations. Mr. W. Ellsworth Gray, in Brush and Pencil, says: "Many competent critics regard this ware as the highest achievement of the potter's art in this country. It has a distinct individuality in character and tone. It is not the product of imitation, not mere decorated china, not clay vessels tricked out with designs borrowed from workers in other forms of art. It is simple and chaste, relying for its effect in a perfectly legitimate way on the superb finish of its surface, on the subdued richness of its colors, and the ideas embodied in its designs. In this regard it is practically unique among American fictile products"

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Quick recognition not only at home but also abroad has followed, the company having been awarded two gold and one silver medal at the Paris Exhibition of 1900, and a gold medal at the St. Petersburg Exhibition of Ceramics in 1901.

Source: Jervis, William Percival. The Encyclopedia of Ceramics. 1902.

Books

The Ceramics of William H. Grueby
Grueby Pottery: A New England Arts and Crafts Venture
The Burton and Paula Geyer Collection of Arts & Crafts





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