Beauty in Common Things: American Arts & Crafts Pottery from the Two Red Roses Foundation - 2nd Edition - 2018
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At the turn of the twentieth century, Americans were captivated by the concept of “Arts & Crafts” pottery. Throughout the country professional artisans as well as amateur ceramists, many of them women, were creating works that were both beautiful and functional. Nationwide, from New England’s Grueby and Marblehead potteries to Cincinnati’s renowned Rookwood Pottery to Newcomb College in New Orleans and Van Briggle Pottery of Colorado Springs, Americans responded to William Morris’ dictum: “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Proponents of the Arts and Crafts movement responded to the crassness of mechanized society by insisting on “beauty in common things.”
Where work had once been viewed in a negative light, manual labor was now seen as favorable, having a redemptive value. “Joy in one’s labor” became a noble maxim to live by, and beauty was measured in terms of the worker’s personal happiness. The Arts and Crafts movement appealed to right-minded members of society who envisioned a morally and aesthetically elevated environment.
This publication brings together one hundred and twenty nine vases of great rarity and exquisite beauty representing the best of American Arts and Crafts pottery. It is the second edition of “Beauty in Common Things”, originally published in 2008. This new edition retains the brilliantly written and well researched dissertation by authors Jonathan Clancy and Martin Eidelberg. It presents a timeless exploration of how different potteries responded to the new idealism of their age and to the aesthetic and social demands which were put on art. Forty-five new vases, purchased for the Two Red Roses Foundation collection, have been added to this edition. Kevin W. Tucker wrote extended scholarly essays for many of these vases and produced profiles of four additional potteries: Crook Pottery, North Dakota Pottery, Redlands Pottery and Valentien Pottery.
ISBN: 978-0-9820833-7-6, 267 pages.