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Lillian B. Miller

(b New York, Dec 11, 1848; d New York, Jan 18, 1931).

American businessman, collector, patron and dealer. He began collecting art in 1869 with paintings by American Hudson River school artists and conventional European works, Chinese porcelain, antique pottery and 17th- and 18th-century English furniture. By 1883 his taste had focused entirely on American works, especially on paintings by George Inness and Winslow Homer. By dealing in such works and by giving frequent exhibitions, Clarke enhanced the popularity of these artists, while also realizing large profits for himself. His founding of Art House, New York, in 1890 confirms the profit motive behind his collecting practices. The most notable sale of his paintings took place in 1899, when he sold at auction 373 contemporary American works at a profit of between 60 and 70%. Four landscapes by Inness—Grey, Lowery Day (c. 1876–7; untraced), Delaware Valley (1865; New York, Met.), Clouded Sun (1891; Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mus. A.) and Wood Gatherers: Autumn Afternoon...

Article

Ellen Paul Denker

American ceramic factory. Homer Laughlin first produced white ironstone in 1873 with his brother Shakespeare, as Laughlin Brothers. The partnership was dissolved in 1877, and Homer Laughlin established the Homer Laughlin China Co. Semi-vitreous dinnerware made for hotels was added as a major product in the 1890s, and in 1896 the firm was formally incorporated. Laughlin retired two years later, but the firm continued to use its new name. By 1905 the company had three potteries in East Liverpool, OH, with a capacity of 36 kilns. Expansion of the operation continued in Newell, WV, and in 1929 all the manufacturing was consolidated there in five potteries. ‘Fiesta’, ‘Harlequin’ and ‘Eggshell’ were among the most popular domestic lines produced between 1935 and 1960. By the late 20th century the firm was one of the largest potteries in the world, producing domestic cooking- and dinnerware and hotelware.

W. C. Gates jr and ...

Article

Ellen Paul Denker

[American China Manufactory]

American porcelain manufactory. William Ellis Tucker (b Philadelphia, 11 June 1800; d Philadelphia, 22 Aug 1832) made an enormous contribution to the history of American ceramics as the founder of this major porcelain factory in Philadelphia. His interest in ceramics probably stemmed from working with the material in his father’s china store, where he occasionally painted European blanks and fired them in a small kiln. Experiments to make porcelain began in 1825. Funding the experiments and later the production of porcelain was so expensive that partners were acquired to help alleviate the financial problems. The factory was known under various titles, chiefly Tucker & Hulme (1828) and Tucker & Hemphill (1831–8). After Tucker’s death, production continued with his brother Thomas Tucker (1812–90) as manager. Tableware and decorative pieces in the fashionable French Empire style were the main products of the firm. Although the company stayed in business until ...

Article

Ellen Paul Denker

American porcelain factory. Originally founded in Greenpoint, NY, as William Boch & Bros in 1850 to make porcelain hardware trimmings, it was bought by Thomas Carll Smith (1815–1901) c. 1861. The wares were first made of bone china, but in 1864 Smith began to experiment with a hard-paste formula, and his firm is considered the first in America to have used this material. In 1875 Smith hired Karl Müller (1820–87), a German sculptor, to create models for the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia, and his work includes the ‘Century’ vase (New York, Met.), ‘Liberty’ cup and ‘Keramos’ vase. In addition to artwares, the firm also made porcelain tiles for fireplaces and decorative wainscoting, hardware trimmings and tableware. (The factory closed c. 1922.)

E. A. Barber: The Pottery and Porcelain of the United States (New York, 1893, rev. 3/1909/R 1976), pp. 252–8 A. C. Frelinghuysen...

Article

Michelle Yun

(b Portland, OR, July 11, 1946; d San Francisco, CA, Aug 12, 1999).

Chinese–American painter and ceramicist. Wong was raised in San Francisco’s Chinatown and received a BA in Ceramics from Humboldt State University in 1968. After graduation, Wong became involved in San Francisco’s performance art scene and worked as a set painter for the Angels of Light Performance Troupe throughout the 1970s. At the age of 30, he decided to become a painter and moved to New York in 1978.

A self-taught painter, Wong’s early realist works often incorporated text and sign language, as in Psychiatrists Testify: Demon Dogs Drive Man to Murder (1980). In 1981 the artist moved to the Lower East Side, a predominantly black and Latino community that would serve as inspiration for the next decade. Wong was a key member of the East Village art scene in the 1980s. His gritty, heavily painted canvases depict the harsh realities of urban life through barren cityscapes of concrete, brick and steel (...