About Van Briggle Pottery

Artus Van Briggle, an American artist of Dutch descent, was established as a world-class painter in Europe. Having received the highest honors for a painter of his time, including being accepted into the Paris Salon, Artus was trained at the finest academies and honed his skills to a level of mastery.

However, his artistic passions would eventually lead him away from the brush, canvas, and easel towards another form of expression that would ultimately define his genius.

Art pottery is a unique form of ceramic art that lies at the intersection of art and craft. It is not just a functional object, but one that is meant to be appreciated for its aesthetic value. The earliest examples of art pottery can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where pottery was not just used for practical purposes but also as a form of artistic expression.

The evolution of art pottery continued through the centuries, with various cultures and civilizations adding their own unique touch to the art form.

Artus was a man of great artistic vision and, having worked at the Rookwood Pottery in Ohio, he was well aware of the range of expression that an artist could achieve with the medium of clay. His passion was to create exquisite satin matte glazes, like those seen on ancient Chinese masterworks, in a palette of colors never before achieved by any modern artist.

The materials he would use for his greatest artistic pursuit would be minerals from the earth – clays, feldspars, oxides – and the blazing heat of a kiln. The combination of these materials, molded and glazed by the creative mind and skilled hand of the artist, becomes a living expression of the blending of humanity and nature.

about van briggle pottery

Artus arrived in Colorado Springs in 1899, and it was there, surrounded by the beauty of the Rocky Mountains, that the defining moments of his life would occur. With a focus on the pursuit of excellence, he continued his work on his formula for the beautiful matte glazes, striving for a standard of perfection not yet achieved.

Pottery is a melding of art and science, and Artus knew that success would require the patience of a scientist and the passion of a great artist. Despite his failing health, he never lost sight of his goal and eventually, in the spring of 1901, he reached into the kiln and pulled out the first pieces of his perfect, rich, matte-glazed pottery.

With this, a lost art was reborn, and the world would once again experience the soft, marble-like glazes that had only been seen in ancient Chinese masterpieces.

Artus’ elegant Art Nouveau pottery designs graced with his exquisite new glazes were sent across the Atlantic and, when shown to Europe’s best art judges, were proclaimed, “A supreme discovery in modern ceramics.”

Soon, art critics across the continents marveled at his works and brought international acclaim to this quiet American artist on the Colorado frontier.

about van briggle pottery

Unfortunately, Artus did not live long enough to see the full impact of his achievements. He succumbed to tuberculosis in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, but not before receiving word that his creations had won their highest awards in exhibitions both in the United States and Europe.

His wife, Anne, carried on his vision and artistry after his death and, with her dedication, Van Briggle Pottery was able to achieve success in its early years. Today, Van Briggle Pottery is a living heritage of two extraordinary artists – Artus Van Briggle and Anne Van Briggle – and a testament to their passion for art and their commitment to excellence.

With each passing year and each new piece created, their artistic legacy continues, and Van Briggle Pottery remains a tradition in American Art Pottery.