Rookwood and the American Indian: Masterpieces of American Art Pottery from the James J. Gardner Collection

Rookwood and the American Indian: Masterpieces of American Art Pottery from the James J. Gardner Collection

by Anita J. Ellis, Susan Labry Meyn
     
 

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The nation’s premier private collection of Rookwood art pottery featuring American Indian portraiture is on display at the Cincinnati Art Museum from October 2007 to January 2008. Rookwood and the American Indian: Masterpieces of American Art Pottery from the James J. Gardner Collection is a remarkable exhibition catalogue that will be of interest

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Overview

The nation’s premier private collection of Rookwood art pottery featuring American Indian portraiture is on display at the Cincinnati Art Museum from October 2007 to January 2008. Rookwood and the American Indian: Masterpieces of American Art Pottery from the James J. Gardner Collection is a remarkable exhibition catalogue that will be of interest well beyond the exhibition because of its unique subject matter. Fifty-two pieces produced by the Rookwood Pottery Company are showcased, many accompanied by black-and-white photographs of the American Indians portrayed by the ceramic artist. In addition, the catalogue includes a brief biography of each artist as well as curators’ comments about the Rookwood pottery and the Indian apparel seen in the portraits. The catalogue also presents two essays.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Cincinnati's Rookwood Pottery Company manufactured art ceramics in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. With pieces reflecting the popular aesthetic values of the arts and crafts movement, the company received wide notice at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and it was between this exposition and the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition that Rookwood concentrated its decorative energies on American Indian portraits adapted directly from photographs. This catalog accompanying a recent exhibition is both a history of a specific subset of a particular company's output and a catalog of the Cincinnati Art Museum's important collection of some 50 vases, pitchers, and ale mugs, all featuring American Indian portraiture. Essays by curator Ellis (Rookwood Pottery) and art historian Meyn (Northern Kentucky Univ.; More Than Curiosities) contextualize the rather arcane pieces, which represent the early stages of the West's fictionalized mythology, a narrative that would later become familiar to future generations of Americans. A good purchase for comprehensive collections in the decorative arts; optional otherwise.
—Douglas F. Smith

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780821417393
Publisher:
Ohio University Press
Publication date:
10/28/2007
Pages:
280
Sales rank:
1,183,979
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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