Mid-Century Trends in Art Pottery

Those colorful and funky designs found in what’s referred to as “mid century” art pottery is often what many of us refer to as vintage; it’s definitely trendy, but finding a single adjective or definition is where the challenge begins.

Vintage. Mod. “1960s style”. Art Nouveau. Art Deco.– these are all used to describe the colorful movement in art pottery and general home décor during the 1950s and into the 1960s. But what defines this very specific line of American art pottery? And how do you differentiate between the real thing and those “dime a dozen” pieces that were so common during this time period? Here’s a bit of info that can help you when you’re ready to explore what this particular line offers.

There are no shortage of names, styles or even materials that are identified with this time period. A personal favorite is Blisscraft of Hollywood. That, of course, isn’t ceramic pottery, but it is indicative of the trends of the day – and you can’t mention these trends without there being an acknowledgment of the parts that define the sum.

Roseville Pottery, which comes as a surprise to many, is often included in that sum. Many of the Roseville vases that were made in the early 1900s are easily found in today’s literature on mid-century pottery. It makes sense. Roseville Pottery is so versatile that it works with, well, anything – from ultra contemporary design efforts to those art nouveau pieces to the designs that came from the same time period the pottery was made. Think about, say, the Roseville Sunflower line. It’s colorful, timeless and frankly, works with any art déco piece you can imagine. The point is to not discount this particular line – it serves its purpose in every era.

Finally, another important element in this distinctive art pottery is the color and specifically, the color combinations. Think vibrant oranges, rich greens, vivid pinks and reds – they all come together on a whim, which is the only way when you’re combining artistic effort and color.

With more of us turning once again to mid-century art pottery and everything that it implies, you can expect to see a surge in prices, too. Still, it’s a great way to add to a collection and frankly, it’s ideal for those who’ve just discovered American art pottery and are looking for a starting place.

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