Thursday, February 26, 2009
Rookwood Pottery was established in Cincinnati in 1880. This fine art pottery is valued by collectors of pottery and ceramics. The original Rookwood Pottery building is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. This is an old photo of the original building.
The building still stands today, on Cincinnati's Mount Adams, overlooking downtown. Today there is a restaurant in the building, with display cases containing examples of the pottery made by Rookwood.
The company employed chemists who developed new glazes and artists who created the designs. There are different periods that are identified by the artists' designs and the type of glaze used. The Cincinnati Museum of Art has a large display, representing the many distinctive styles that developed over the years.
The interior of the building has been redesigned around the original brick kilns. If you go to the restaurant, you can eat at a table that is inside one of these large kilns.
Many homes in older Cincinnati neighborhoods have fireplace surrounds made from Rookwood Pottery tiles:
Also in Cincinnati, Rookwood tiles decorate such buildings as Union Terminal and Dixie Terminal. In New York City, Rookwood tiles can be found in the Vanderbilt Hotel, Grand Central Station, the Mayo Clinic, and Lord and Taylor. Several NYC subway stops feature Rookwood tile designs.
Rookwood Pottery began production in 1880 and discontinued in 1967. However, in 2006 the Rookwood Pottery was re-established at a different location in Cincinnati. There is an interesting article at Wikipedia about the history of Rookwood Pottery. (I tried to create a link to it, but am not yet computer savvy enough to make it work.)