Publications


“Gilded New York: Design, Fashion and Society” edited by Donald Albrecht and Jeannine Falino (Museum of the City of New York/The Monacelli Press), coordinates with an exhibit of the same name at the Museum of the City of New York that is intended to launch the new Tiffany & Co. Foundation Gallery at the museum.

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The covered jar above is in the book as well as the Gilded New York exhibit at the Museum
of the City of New York. It is from the collection of New York collectors
Robert Tuggle and Paul Jeromack.

Read Lorna Koski’s article in Women’s Wear Daily as she discusses the book. Click on the image below and her article will open.

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The book is available at:

MusShopI also saw it at:

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Special thanks to

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Donald Albrecht and Jeannine Falino
(Museum of the City of New York/The Monacelli Press)

Robert Tuggle and Paul Jeromack for sharing your collection with the public.

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For making the Gilded New York exhibition possible.

www.tiffanyandcofoundation.org

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Lorna Koski’s, writer

The Museum of the City of New York

The Monacelli Press

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A wonderful article by Eve Kahn appeared in the NY Times on January 17. The article, “A POTTER’S SECOND BLOOM” is about John Bennett. The article can be viewed  here.

The story promotes The 59th Annual Winter Antiques Show

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January 25-February 3, 2013

Open Daily 12:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Sundays & Thursday 12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

Park Avenue Armory

67th St. & Park Ave.

New York City

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2013 Loan Exhibition

Newport: The Glamour of Ornament

Celebrating The Preservation Society of Newport County

Sponsored by Chubb Personal Insurance
for the 17th Consecutive Year

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The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island’s largest cultural organization, preserves and protects the best of Newport County’s architectural heritage.  Its 11 historic properties and landscapes – seven of which are National Historic Landmarks – form a complete essay of American historical development from the Colonial era through the Gilded Age.  In keeping with its mission, the Society strives to offer its members and the public a comprehensive view of each property’s architecture, interiors, landscapes and social history.  The Society hosts more than 800,000 visits to its properties annually.

The Preservation Society of Newport County in Rhode Island is lending 3 John Bennett pieces for the show.

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I remember another John Bennett vase being sold from Newport, I think around 2001, which looked very similar to the ones in the show.

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For more information click here.

The vases are from Kingscote.

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The Preservation Society’s properties include: The Breakers (1895), Marble House (1892), The Elms (1901), Rosecliff (1902), Chateau-sur-Mer (1852), Kingscote (1841), Isaac Bell House (1883), Hunter House (1748), and Chepstow (1861).

For more information on The Preservation Society of Newport County, please visit www.NewportMansions.org/

The 59th Annual Winter Antiques Show is a benefit for East Side House Settlement.

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For more information about East Side House Settlement visit www.eastsidehouse.org

Eve Kahn also sheds light on 2 other John Bennett vases. These 2 vases are now on display at the newly expanded Yale University Art Gallery.

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Of the 5 vases, this one was the only one I was familiar with. I remember it from a Rago Arts Auction back in 2006. To see a picture of it then click the Rago Arts logo

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I saw it later on the website of the Decorative Arts Society

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Visit the Decorative Arts Society website here.

www.decartssociety.org

I think an important point Eve Kahn makes is that the preservation of John Bennett pottery is due to museum acquisitions, the efforts of collectors such as Robert Tuggle and Paul Jeromack and organizations such as the American Decorative Art 1900 Foundation ( Bruce Barnes, Ph.D., President and Founder and Joseph Cunningham, Ph.D., Director).

I think family member and private collections play an important role as well and that with the advance or the internet, the public will benefit by getting to view these pieces.

The museums listed on the right have John Bennett pieces in their collections. I hope you visit them and support them. The list is incomplete. I am very optimistic that with Eve Kahn’s article,  more John Bennett pieces will surface and the public will benefit due to the attention she gave John Bennett. A big thank you to Eve Kahn!

UPCOMING: I’m working on an article that will feature a John Bennett vase that’s in a museum collection that has yet been mentioned on this blog. The vase will surprise you and is related in style to one of the Newport vases. Of the 3 vases from Newport, one has a beautiful texture on the neck. The piece in the museum collection I’m going to write about is completely textured and looks like nothing from Bennett that we’ve seen before!

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I came across another book, which demonstrates the popularity of John Bennett 2 years after the Philadelphia Exposition of 1876. The book is from the college library at the Fog Art Museum at Harvard University. It was written in 1879. The book is The Official Catalogue of the Art Collection of the Seventh Cincinnati Industrial Exposition, Catalog Paintings, Engravings, Sculpture and Household Art. The catalog lists (without images) 40 pieces of John Bennett Pottery! 38 vases and 2 placques. Below I have listed the page numbers, catalog numbers and items. If there is an asterisk after the item number, the piece was available for purchase.

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The book has been made available through Google’s Book project. You can read or download the book from here.
Page 88:
Number 19*.Vase, decorated by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.

Page 90
Numbers 70 and 71*. Vases, decorated by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.

Page 91.
Numbers 75-77*. Vases, decorated by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.
Number 87*. Vase, decorated by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.

Page 92.
Numbers 90 and 91*. Vases, decorated by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.
Page 96.
Number 158*. Vase, decorated by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.

Page 97.
Number 166*. Vase, decorated by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.

Page 98.
Number 189*. Placque, decorated by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.

Page 102.
Numbers 272-275. Vases, decorated by Bennett, John Bennett New York.

Page 105.
Number 323. Placque, by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.
Number 329*. Vase, decorated by Bennett, John Bennett New York.

Page 106.
Number 332*. Vase, decorated by Bennett, John Bennett, New York.
Numbers 336-337*. Vases, decorated by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.
Number 340*. Blue vase, decorated by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.
Numbers 341 – 343*. Vases, decorated by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.
Numbers 347 – 349*. Vases, decorated by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.

Page 107.
Number 354*. Cylindrical vase, decorated by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.
Number 359*. Vase, decorated by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.
Number 362*. Vase, decorated by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.

Page 108.
Number 367*. Vase, decorated by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.
Number 369. Vase, decorated by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.

Page 112.
Numbers 424 – 427*. Vases, decorated by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.
Number 437*. Vase, decorated by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.

Page 114.
Numbers 461-462*. Vases, decorated by Bennett. John Bennett, New York.

I’m optimistic that 2013 will be a better year! Instead of my normal resolutions (lose weight, live healthier, etc), this year my number one resolution is going to be “listen better”. How does this relate to John Bennett?

Almost 10 years ago I heard about a book that sounded like it would have good information about John Bennett. The book was expensive (for regular folks), so I looked to other, more affordable sources for information. As I’ve mentioned before, more and more museums are developing accessible data bases on line and more information is becoming available about John Bennett. I told myself that I would go to the library to find the book but that was successful as the losing weight resolution.

Last year a collector/friend from New York mentioned to me that I should read this book. Time passed and for a year I had not read the book.

Over the holidays I reviewed a copy of the book. My estimate is the information about John Bennett that was in this book was equal to about 5 years of my research! Had I read the book earlier I could have saved myself many hours of reading, web surfing and note taking. Lessons learned: Stop procrastinating and listen better! The book was incredible! It is well written, organized and comprehensive with John Bennett information. It also has a trail of reference materials that will keep me busy for some time. I looked online to see if the price had dropped on the book. It had not. On Amazon.com the book could be found for $74.85 (used) or $2,217.54 (new)! I jumped over to Barnes and Noble.com and the book listed form various locations in the range of $229.50 – $325.47.

Here is the information about this incredible book:

Title: In Pursuit of Beauty: Americans and the Aesthetic Movement

Author: Burke, Doreen Bolger

Contributor: Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)

Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986

Length: 511 pages

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The book is also available for the great price of FREE! I initially found the book at Google books. The book can be read but it currently states that an ebook is not available for downloading. To review the book, click here.

Then I found it again for FREE! The electronic version is now available from the Metropolitan Museum! The book is out of print and currently not available for purchase, but can be downloaded as a PDF! To download the book, visit MetPublications here.

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To the right of the picture of the book are tab buttons which you can click to “Read online” or “Download pdf”

The book is as beautiful as it is informative. Now I have it on my iPad. It is awesome to read the book during breaks and to have the references used to write the book. Even if you have read the book, it’s great to have in your collection. The good thing about having it electronically is that it is searchable. Being searchable, makes this book valuable as a reference tool, not only for John Bennett but the other artists which contributed to the Aesthetic Movement. If you’re interested in the Aesthetic Movement, you will love this book.

Truthfully, I did not read the entire 511 page book. I did read more than just the John Bennett portions. John Bennett is discussed on pages: 20, 216-220, 231, 326, 426, 452 and 402-403

The book is comprehensive with John Bennett history, information about those that he was influenced by and his contribution to America and the Aesthetic Movement. The pictures are stunning examples of John Bennett pottery and reflect the quality and importance of the Metropolitan’s Decorative Arts collection. It also references other prestigious museums which have John Bennett work in their collection.

I would like to thank Doreen Bolger Burke for writing the book, my friend Robert for recommending it and the Metropolitan Museum for making the book available electronically. I encourage everyone to visit the museum and to support the efforts of the Metropolitan Museum. For more information about the museum, click here.

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In the beginning was the 1876 Centennial. That is when the United States first embraced the work of John Bennett.

Below is the exhibition’s catalogue cover.

I came across the catalogue cover in a book from the Harvard College Library. You can download a PDF of the book from Google books (free) by clicking on the cover below:

Another book at Harvard College Library is Potters, their arts and crafts. If you click on the cover below, you will be linked to where you can download the book from Google books (also free).

APPENDIX

Pages 255
In 1877, Mr. John Bennett, one of Doulton’s artists, settled in New York, and introduced the Lambeth style of faience painting.

Page 256
Nothing so rich in colour had till then been seen in American pottery.

The European exhibits at the Centennial Exhibition of Philadelphia in 1876 were great incentives to the American potters, and it may now be said that in beauty of workmanship and originality of ideas the leading firms have little to learn. As regards the more practical side of ceramics, brick and terra-cotta making, the Americans have gone to the front in a remarkable way; new machines and new methods of burning attest their inventiveness.; numerous improvements in terra-cotta have revolutionised American city architecture, and buildings are erected now in steel and burnt clay which a few years ago would have been thought impossible.

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We live in an amazing time. We are gaining access to information from the greatest museums, libraries and educational institutions.

Special thanks to the Harvard College Library and Google books.

Visit a museum or library, even if only online. The web is a terrible thing to waste.

American Art Tile 1876-1941

by Norman Karlson (Sep 15, 1998)

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John Bennett was born in England in 1840. He trained first at Staffordshire Potteries, and later worked for Henry Doulton. By the time Bennett arrived in the United States and opened a studio at 101 Lexington Avenue in New York, in 1876, he was already a very accomplished pottery decorator.

His high-priced pottery, called “Bennett Ware,” was sold at many fine stores across the country, including Tiffany & Co. Bennett Ware was characterized by simple, unencumbered shapes adorned with underglaze painting. The decorative subjects were usually boldly painted plants and flowers in strong colors, often outlined in black against brightly colored backgrounds.In addition to pottery, Bennett produced six-inch tiles using the same underglaze technique. His work could have been influenced by William DeMorgan and William Morris (and possibly Persian or Turkish painting). In 1878, Bennett taught classes in pottery decoration at the New York Society of Decorative Art (relinquishing the post a year later to Charles Volkmar).

In 1879, Bennett moved his studio to 412 E. 24th Street, where he remained until he retired to his farm in West Orange, New Jersey in 1883. The father of thirteen children, John Bennett died in1907 at the age of sixty-seven.

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The John Bennett art tiles above are similar to the tile below in that they have a loose, sketchy quality using values of a single color on a light background. He achieves most of his shading by changing the line thickness. The 4 tiles above are curious in that they have letters randomly placed in the backgrounds. My guess is they may spell the name or character trait of the subject matter.

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tile back with conjoined JB, 412 E 24 Street, NY

R & J Kelley Collection

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These are different than the painted tiles
which are more like wallpaper.

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tile detail with signature and year, 1872

R & J Kelley Collection

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John Bennett, art tile
R & J Kelley Collection

This book, along with other fine books by Norman Karlson can be found on the net.  I saw it available NEW and USED at amazon.com. If you’re interested click on the following link.

Another example of John Bennett’s tile work was exhibited in 1979 at The William Benton Museum of Art. An excerpt from the exhibition catalog can be seen below.

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I looked on the net and copies of this exhibition catalog are available in multiple places.

I also saw it at Amazon.com here.

I would like to thank Norman Karlson, author of American Art Tile 1876-1941
and encourage you to buy his books.

I would also like to thank the William Benton Museum of Art for exhibiting
the work of John Bennett and the production of the exhibition catalog. Everyone
should visit the William Benton Museum of Art.

245 Glenbrook Rd # 2140
Storrs Mansfield, CT 06269

(860) 486-4520

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I would especially like to thank my friend that sent me information and a copy of the 1979 exhibition catalog. Without him would have made this article impossible. As I have used content without permission, my friend will remain anonymous but is greatly appreciated.

I would like to apologize for the sad yellow frames I have on my art tiles. My grandmother put the tiles into those frames and I haven’t been able to bring myself to change them.

I will conclude by saying read, visit museums and share your John Bennett examples with others that love his work.

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Last night I was reading a ceramic book from 1878. Whenever I am researching for John Bennett information I secretly hope to see one of my pieces, published. That’s probably normal for any collector. The book I was reading, The Ceramic Art, by Jennie J Young (1878) had a piece I recognized! Though not one of my pieces, it was a piece from the Bennett-Hinds Collection of Anderson Island, Washington. It was an illustration of Chuck and Carol’s charger.

The charger, now 135 years old was only a year old when the book was published.

John Bennett, Charger 1877

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If you would like to have a copy of the book, you can download it for free through Google Books.

The following link will take you to the location of the book. In the picture below you can see that to download the book you click into area of the button that looks like a sprocket next to a triangle which points down (top right).

The Ceramic Art, 1878

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Click and scroll down to Download PDF. That’s all folks.

Congratulations to Chuck and Carol Bennett-Hinds for having acquired a piece that was published 134 years ago.
It looks like the charger may have originally sold at  Davis Collamore & Co., which was a high-end New York City importer of porcelain and glass, headed by Davis Collamore (7 October 1820 — 13 August 1887).

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