Curators’ Pick: “Rookwood Pottery Vase” by Kataro Shirayamadani

Curator’s Pick: Rookwood Pottery Vase by Kataro Shirayamadani

This tall, elegantly proportioned earthenware vase is one of the great standouts in The Mint Museum’s Historical Decorative Arts Collection according to Curator of Decorative Arts, Brian Gallagher. It was created in 1892 at Rookwood Pottery in Cincinnati, Ohio, founded in 1880 by Maria Longworth Nichols. Nichols had long desired to introduce an authentic Japanese style to her factory’s wares, when she hired china painter Kataro Shirayamadani, born in Kanazawa, Japan. Shirayamadani went on to become one of Rookwood’s most accomplished decorators, and Rookwood became one of the most commercially successful and artistically accomplished of all American art potteries.