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Made by Rookwood Pottery, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1880 - 1960. Decorated by Kitaro Shirayamadani, Japanese (active United States), 1865 - 1948, active at Rookwood Pottery, 1887 - 1911 and 1921 - 1948.

Made in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, North and Central America



Glazed stoneware (Black Iris glaze)

17 3/8 x 11 1/2 inches (44.1 x 29.2 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

* Gallery 110, American Art, first floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of John T. Morris, 1901

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Inspired by Japanese ceramics, this vase won a grand prize at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900. Rookwood Pottery had only recently perfected the technique used to create it, which they called the “Black Iris” glaze. The decoration was achieved by building up delicate layers of light-colored slip (liquefied clay particles) on a cobalt glaze so thick it appears black.

Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    This large vase is a masterpiece of the American art pottery movement, which began at the Rookwood Pottery, where this work was made, and was dedicated to the creation of ceramics for purely aesthetic and decorative purposes. Always trying to develop new styles of ware and decoration, by 1900 Rookwood's innovative designers and potters had perfected what they called the "Black Iris" glaze, characterized by a brilliant black ground painted with delicate floral motifs. This vase, which was decorated by the Japanese-born Kataro Shirayamadani, who was brought to Rookwood in 1887 to inject the influence of Japanese technique, was part of the "Black Iris" line of ceramics that was introduced with great success at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900. It features a dark, high-gloss black glaze combined with dark green and decorated with yellow-green roses and green foliage executed in very slight relief. Martha C. Halpern, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 294.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.