American Female Pottery Artists

#✊ #🎨 Examples by female pottery artists of the Arts and Crafts period, 1896-1930. – Many women sought opportunities as pottery decorators during the Arts and Crafts movement, where artistic skill offered them the possibility of meaningful work and economic stability in a late- and post-Victorian society. In most cases the pottery houses were male-owned, although there were exceptions: famous Rookwood Pottery (1884-1921) was founded by china painter Maria Longworth Nichols in Cincinnati, Ohio. – While examples like Rookwood exist, most of the artistic contributions females made during this era remain under-recognized. At the time, most paid work was considered debasing for women and there were few professions that were considered socially acceptable. The Arts and Crafts movement’s orientation towards decorative and handcrafted (versus industrialized) goods placed emphasis on skills that were widely considered feminine, opening the door for participation by women workers. – In spite of their growing presence in the arts world, instead of being considered talented creators themselves, women were still primarily utilized as executants of the designs created by and credited to men. We see direct examples of this situation in the pottery shown above: the majority of these pieces can only be described by museum curators as decorated by women. – Bowl, earthenware with leaf motif. Grueby Faience Co., executed by Florence S. Liley. Boston, ca 1898-1900. – Vase, earthenware with chrysanthemums. Paul Revere Pottery of the Saturday Evening Girls, executed by Ida Goldstein. Massachusetts, ca 1911-1912. – Vase, earthenware with tulip. Rookwood Pottery, decorated by Harriet E. Wilcox. Cincinnati, 1905. – Vases, earthenware with forest silhouettes. Rookwood Pottery, decorated by Sara Sax. Cincinnati, 1910 & 1911. – Vase, earthenware with grape motif. Marblehead Pottery, designed by Arthur Irwin Hennessy, executed by Sarah Tutt. Massachusetts, ca 1908-1918.

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