“The Art that is Life” American Art Pottery

Arts & Crafts period tile mural for the Santa Fe train at Union Station, San Diego.

The Arts and Crafts Movement in America, spanning the years from 1875-1930, saw its beginnings as a rebellion against the fussiness and excesses of the Victorian age and the terrible economic and environmental conditions fostered by the industrial revolution. It had its origins in expressing the ideas of the Movement as stated in this quote from an exhibition catalog published by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts:

“Convinced that industrialization had caused the degradation of work and the destruction of the environment, Arts and Crafts reformers created works with deliberate social messages. Their designs conveyed strong convictions about what was wrong with society and reflected prescriptions for living. The aim was to incorporate art into everyday activities and thus, to democratize it”.

Groups of like-minded artisans formed guilds and collectives to produce handcrafted wares including tall vases, tiles, utilitarian shapes for daily use, original designs with simplified shapes, experimental glazes and painting techniques, many with incised and raised decorations. From the 1880’s to post World War 1, highly decorated Japanese porcelain and artifacts inspired American pottery artists and designers.

Many pottery-making collectives sprang up across America during these years, and especially in California, incorporating new ideas about design, philanthropy, and social consciousness. The Arequipa Pottery located in Marin county in Northern California, was established as part of a tuberculosis sanatorium for young working-class women who were taught the craft as part of their recovery program and produced wares for sale in stores across the country, as well as being displayed at the Pan Pacific Exhibition in San Francisco in 1915.

The popularity of the Arts and Crafts movement began to decline after World War 1 as newer design forms began to evolve. The design aesthetic of the movement continued to influence modernism in the 1930’s and 1940’s and into the post-modernism period of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Sunnylands, the Walter Annenberg estate in Palm Springs, is a fine example of post-modernism architecture as it echoes the idealism, beauty, grace, form in nature, and simplicity of the earlier movement.

There are a few Arts and Crafts potteries still producing today, but almost all of them were out of business by 1930. There was a resurgence of handcrafted pottery and objects late in the 20th century and there are many artisans producing fine handcrafted works today. American Art Pottery can be found in antique stores, auctions, and on line. There are collections in many museums around the country. There are walking and home tours in San Diego and Pasadena focusing on arts and crafts design and architecture at various times of the year and many websites, books, publications, organizations and dealers can be found on line relating to the Arts and Crafts movement and, specifically, art pottery.

A worthwhile show for those who are interested in handcrafted art pottery, old and new, is the upcoming Los Angeles Pottery Show at the Pasadena Convention Center on May 20-21, 2017. It is the largest pottery and tile show in America.

FURTHER RESEARCH

General Books on the Arts and Crafts Movement:

The Art That is Life – Arts and Crafts Movement in America 1875-1920, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Wendy Kaplan   1987

The Arts and Crafts Companion, Pamela Todd, 2004, Bullfinch

The Arts and Crafts Movement in Europe and America: Design for the Modern World 1880-1920, Wendy Kaplan, 2005, Thames & Hudson

The Arts and Crafts Movement (World of Art), 1991, Thames & Hudson

Arts and Crafts in Britain and America, Isabel Anscombe and Charlotte Gere, 1978, Rizzoli

General Books on American Art Pottery and Tile:

American Art Tile 1876-1941, Norman Karlson, 1998, Rizzoli

American Art Pottery, David Rago , 1997, Knickerbocker Press

California Pottery: From Missions to Modernism, Book Published  in Conjunction with Exhibition at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, 2003-2004

Journal of the American Pottery Association – bi-monthly magazine with fully researched and in-depth articles and information on all aspects of art pottery

www.AmArtPot.org/

justartpottery.com         Newsletter and Blog

Museum Collections

LACMA

Oakland Museum    Oakland, CA

Kirkland Museum    Denver, Colorado

Everson Museum    Syracuse, New York

American Arts and Crafts Collection of Alexander and Sidney Sheldon (exhibition publication)

Palm Springs Art Museum

Art Pottery collections displayed in many Museums around the US.

The Arts and Crafts Society – aggregate of resources, books, collections and museums worldwide

Arts & Crafts pottery compote

Educational Opportunities for Appraisers and Collectors in California

AAA: Tour of the George & Dorothy Saxe Collection of Glass & Ceramics

August 30, 2016

San Francisco

Initiatives in Art & Culture: 18th Annual Arts & Crafts Conference:

The Arts and Crafts  Movement in Pasadena and Environs

September 22-25, 2016

ArtTable Tours: San Francisco

October 13 – 16, 2016

ISA: USPAP 7-hour Update for  Personal Property Appraisers

November 3, 2016

Alameda

Appraisal Course Associates: USPAP 7-hour Update for Personal Property Appraisers

Live on-line

various dates

 

 

Death, Debt, Divorce, Disaster – The 4 D’s

We don’t like to think about it, but there are several situations where our art, antiques and collectibles will be affected in a major way.   Life’s events have a way of separating us from our possessions.

The Canadian Chapter of the International Society of Appraisers recently posted a good article on the subject titled “Not Till Death, Debt, Divorce Do We Part” by Julia McLaren.   It discusses the first three D’s and how proper planning and use of professional appraisers can assist during these times.

I would like add a fourth “D” to the list ….. disaster.  Our beloved objects can be damaged or in the worst case scenario, destroyed.  I discussed this subject in an earlier post titled  “Protecting Your Valuables from a Disaster”.

Protection of your collection and planning for the future is essential.  By having an inventory and professional appraisal, you can make informed decisions regarding insurance, donation, division or liquidation.  At the end of every episode of the TV show “Strange Inheritance” they remind us “you can’t take it with you”.

Events for Personal Property Appraisers and Collectors in California

Heath Ceramics Factory Tour, Sausalito
October 17th, 10:30 AM  – 11:30 AM
Sponsored by AAA
 
Photography and Sculpture: The Art Object in Reproduction, Los Angeles 
October 25th, 9:30 AM  – 5:00 PM
A Getty Research Institute and Clark Art Institute Symposium 
 
Appraisal Research Workshop, Los Angeles
Getty  Research Institute
December 2, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Sponsored by AAA

Past event:

Foundation For Appraisal Education Seminar, Alameda
August 28-29
Sponsored by the FAE and Michaan’s Auctions
A fabulous opportunity to spend 2 days listening to lectures on a variety of subjects and meet appraisers from different associations. 
Kathi Jablonsky, ISA CAPP with Loredano Rosin sculpture
Kathi Jablonsky, ISA CAPP with Loredano Rosin sculpture
 
   

 

 

 

APPRAISAL FOUNDATION TO HOST 2ND PERSONAL PROPERTY ROUNDTABLE

The Appraisal Foundation will be holding the second personal property roundtable on September 23rd in Washington, DC titled “Envisioning the Future: Building Public Trust”.  Topics of discussion will be of importance to personal property appraisers and include qualifications, standards and oversight.  Panelists will include a wide variety of personal property disciplines, as well as auction houses, appraisal associations and law firms.

The roundtable will be conducted from 1:00 PM  – 5:00 PM and is free and open to observers.   A networking reception will follow.  For more details and registration, see the Appraisal Foundation website.

Art Crime Education

Hopefully you read my last post about art and cultural property crime, discussing what law enforcement agencies around the world are doing to combat this problem.  In case you missed it, you can read the full post at “Art and Crime”. 

This is a growing area of specialty study and relates to a variety of fields including appraisal, investigation,  insurance, art law, security, museums and conservation.

As a person who continually looks for educational opportunities, I’d like to share some of the upcoming events I’ve found relating to art crime:

Art Crime Investigation Seminar

Philadelphia, PA, June 10-15, 2012

Symposium on Criminality in the Art  and Cultural Property World

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 15-16, 2012

The World of Art and the Fine Art of Crime Symposium

North Easton, MA, July 30 – August 3, 2012

 

 

 

 

Sesquicentennial Renews Interest in Civil War Collectibles

Civil War Sesquicentenial

The 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War takes place this year and continues until 2015.  There are many state and local activities scheduled to commemorate this historical event.

Appraisers need to be aware of special events such as this, and how they will affect the values for related items.   This multi-year anniversary of such an important historical event is expected to have an increase on values for Civil War artifacts and collectibles, at least temporarily.  Buyers and appraisers should also be aware that civil war artifacts are frequently faked.

More information on the planned events is available at the following websites:

Civil War Trust  http://www.civilwar.org/150th-anniversary/

Smithsonian Institution http://www.civilwar150.si.edu/

The National Archives http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/civil-war/

The National Civil War Museum

 

Top 10: Ten of the biggest auction sales of historic U.S. Civil War memorabilia

(source: Wikicollecting)