Rookwood Pottery

1880 - 1967

Rookwood Vase

Rothenbush Vellum c. 1900

Founded by Maria Longworth Nichols (Storer) in Cincinnati, Ohio.

One of the most successful and famous "art" potteries of the Arts & Crafts period. Known for their innovative glazing techniques.

The Pottery and Porcelain of the United States, 1908

It is safe to assert that no ceramic establishment which has existed in the United States has come nearer fulfilling the requirements of a distinctively American institution than the Rookwood Pottery of Cincinnati, Ohio. For this reason, and because of the additional fact that the founding of this factory was due to the intelligent and well directed efforts of a woman, the history of Rookwood, from its inception, cannot fail to have a peculiar interest for American collectors and patrons of art.

The ceramic display of Japan, at the Philadelphia Exhibition of 1876, inspired the venture which resulted in the establishment of these works, in 1880, by Mrs. Marie Longworth Nichols (now Mrs. Bellamy Storer), whom we have already seen as an enthusiastic investigator and student in some of the Cincinnati potteries. She began her work at the Dallas white-ware pottery, where she and several other amateurs continued for two years. The heat being found to be too intense for firing underglaze colors, at the granite ware factory, first suggested to Mrs. Nichols the idea of building a place of her own. Her experiments were continued at the new establishment, which she had erected at 207 Eastern Avenue, and which, through the wise liberality of her father, Mr. Joseph Longworth, was afterwards furnished with the necessary means for its maintenance while its products were finding a market and until financially it could stand alone. The name selected for the works was that of the country place of Mr. Longworth, at East Walnut Hills, in the suburbs of the city, so called on account of the great number of crows which frequented the adjacent woods. In the more congenial quarters of the new pottery Mrs. Nichols surrounded herself with skilled workmen and able artists, and the first kiln of ware was fired in November of 1880.

Barber, Edwin Atlee. The Pottery and Porcelain of the United States. G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1901. p 284-286


Rookwood & Industry Of Art: Women Culture & Commerce
Rookwood Pottery
Rookwood Pottery at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

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