John Bennett's American Pottery
Nationality & Life Dates:
New York, 1876–1882
Earthenware with polychrome decoration
12 1/4 x 6 1/4 x 6 1/4 inches
Virginia Carroll Crawford Collection
Currently Not on View
Dominated by flowers and fruit, the natural forms on this covered vase were stylized into flat, two-dimensional patterns akin to William Morris wallpapers and textiles as well as those used by John Bennett’s English Arts and Crafts compatriots. Bennett painted his designs onto the surface in richly colored slip before applying clear, shiny glaze, a technique he used all his life. This style was dubbed “Bennett-ware” after receiving much critical praise and was emulated by the designer’s contemporaries. The black outline of the forms is derived from Japanese prints, which were newly available and quite popular in the nineteenth century.
Before establishing his own workshop in New York City, Bennett directed the faience department at the Doulton factory and Lambeth school in England. After his Doulton works received praise at the 1876 Centennial International Exhibition in Philadelphia, Bennett immigrated to America and introduced this style to New York.