Seminars At The Hotel

Friday, April 22nd

“Some New Insights into Rookwood’s Architectural Faience Department”

  • Riley Humler of Cincinnati Art Galleries will present a series of images from a long lost Rookwood scrapbook of Architectural Faience installations. The scrapbook was purchased from Rookwood in 1960 when the company was moving from Cincinnati. In it are hundreds of photos and architectural renderings which include stock tiles, unique fireplace surrounds and large, room size installations. Some are identified and some are unknown. Answers to all questions about Rookwood’s Architectural Faience Department will not be provided. As a matter of fact, more questions will be raised than answered but we need to start somewhere.
  • “The American Art Clay Company of Indianapolis”
  • Founded in 1919, the American Art Clay Company (AMACO, of Indianapolis) makes supplies for artists and art educators, including ceramists. Between 1931 and 1938 the company made and marketed art pottery. This presentation by esteemed author Mark Bassett will survey the shapes and glazes used then and will explain the date codes found on the bottom of most AMACO art pottery wares.
  • “Crafting a Life: The Overbeck Sisters of Indiana”
  • The Overbeck sisters of Cambridge City, Indiana – Margaret, Elizabeth, Hannah and Mary Frances – were among the vanguard of women who crafted their livelihood through ceramics in the early twentieth century. Noted author and ceramic historian Ellen Denker will trace their lives and work, revealing their work process and important contributions to American art ceramics from Hannah’s early china painting designs for Keramic Studio through the art pottery they made collectively and on to Mary Frances’s delightful figurines.

Saturday, April 23rd

  • “Thomas J. Wheatley, A Ceramic Artist”
  • Jim Graham, an avid collector of Wheatley Pottery, will use slides from his own collection to illustrate the curious and determined career of Thomas J. Wheatley, ceramic artist. Jim will discuss the early years in Cincinnati–with slides of a recent acquisition of a huge lobster vase from 1880–followed by the years in which he vanished into the country, and then his return in the late 1890s for a key role in the Arts and Crafts movement. The pots that he did all by himself, as opposed to those he copied from Grueby and Teco, rival–as you will see–anything else done at the time.
  • “Jens Jensen: A Rookwood Modernist Paints”
  • Jens Jensen (1895-1978), Danish immigrant and artist, found a new home at the Rookwood Pottery Company in 1928. An artist with multiple interests and talents, he brought knowledge of the international art world with him to this acclaimed institution. While working there from 1928 to 1948, Jensen depicted nudes, animals, stylized flowers, and abstract patterns, which are easily discernible from works by his Rookwood contemporaries. Though the painter is perhaps better known by some collectors for his pottery design, it is Jensen’s two-dimensional work, which dates to the 1930s and later, that provides a more candid revelation about the images and themes he revered. Lisa M.W. Eldred will explore Jensen’s oil paintings, pottery sketches, and drawings to uncover the artist’s true artistic goals and visual vocabulary. View examples of rare Gamtofte Pottery, fired in a kiln that he and wife Elizabeth Barrett (1903-1987) managed together.

Sunday, April 24th

  • “Formed in Clay: A History of Cincinnati Seen Through Its Potteries, 1870s to 1960s
  • Bob and Mary Ellen Seery have prepared a presentation covering all the companies and significant individuals who were involved in pottery in Cincinnati between 1877 and 1965. It will include the historical background leading up to Cincinnati’s involvement in pottery, with particular emphases on both the early confusing phase and also on the smaller, less known companies. Pottery examples from all 16 companies will be available to see and touch. Participants will receive a detailed handout of the presentation as well as a copy of the Seery article covering this period.