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Grueby, William Henry (10 February 1867–23 February 1925), ceramist, was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel A. Grueby, a spar maker, and Elizabeth W. Rich. Grueby attended public school until he was thirteen. In the Chelsea school system Grueby received practical training in drawing and design through the first state-mandated art curriculum introduced in the United States. After working for a Boston decorating firm and the J. and J. G. Low Art Tile Works in Chelsea, Grueby founded an architectural ceramics company in 1890. He and his partner, Eugene Atwood, produced faience—glazed terra cotta—for interior and exterior decoration at the South Boston plant of the Boston Terra Cotta Company. Atwood and Grueby dissolved their partnership around 1893, each man establishing his own faience company. Atwood Faience Company operated in Hartford, Connecticut, until 1899, when new owners changed the name to the Hartford Faience Company. Grueby Faience remained in South Boston....

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Martinez, Maria Montoya (1885–20 July 1980), potter, was born Maria Montoya on the San Ildefonso Pueblo in the Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico (approximately twenty-five miles northwest of Santa Fe), the third of five daughters of Tomas Montoya, a farmer, and Reyes Pena Montoya. No birth certificate exists for any of the Montoya daughters, and accounts of Maria's life list her birth variously from 1881 to 1887. The first official record of her life is that of an 1887 baptism. Maria might have been an infant at the time, but in an interview in the 1970s (Peterson, p. 73) she recalled the baptism, which if true would suggest that she was older. She chose 5 April as the day on which to celebrate her birthday. She is often referred to by her first name alone, occasionally Maria Poveka, which means Pond Lily in the Tewa language. Life in the pueblo revolved around subsistence farming and pottery, which was in decline as less expensive, mass-produced ceramic ware gained popularity. The population of the San Ildefonso Pueblo declined by about half during Maria's childhood, from 150 to 80, as many of the young people in this Tewa Indian tribe left their ancestral homes for jobs in the cities....

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Nampeyo (1859–20 July 1942), Native American potter, was born in Tewa Village (Hano), First Mesa, Hopi reservation, Arizona, the daughter of Qotsvema, a Hopi farmer from Walpi, and Qotcakao of the Corn Clan at Hano. She was named Tcumana (Snake Girl) by her paternal grandmother because her father was of the Snake Clan; however, her Tewa name, Numpayu (“Snake that does not bite”), was more commonly used because she lived at Hano....

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Nampeyo. Gelatin silver print, c. 1926, by Arnold Genthe. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

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Ohr, George E. (12 July 1857–07 April 1918), potter, was born George Edgar Ohr in Biloxi, Mississippi, the son of George Ohr, an Alsatian-born blacksmith, and Johanna Wiedman, who had emigrated from Württemberg, Germany. He was the second of five children. He attended the local elementary school and then a “German school” in New Orleans, but his formal education was not extensive. He learned the blacksmith trade from his father and worked in his father’s shop until his mid-teens, when he went to New Orleans. There he worked for a couple of years for a ship’s chandler and served on a sailing ship for one voyage. By the late 1870s he was back in Biloxi working for his father....

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See Overbeck, Margaret

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See Overbeck, Margaret

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Overbeck, Margaret (03 July 1863–13 August 1911), Hannah Borger Overbeck (14 March 1870–28 August 1931), Elizabeth Gray Overbeck (21 October 1875–01 December 1936), and Mary Frances Overbeck (28 January 1878–20 March 1955), artists and ceramists, were the daughters of John Arehart Overpeck, a farmer and cabinetmaker, and Sarah Ann Borger. (The American ...

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See Overbeck, Margaret

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N. Elizabeth Schlatter

Wood, Beatrice (03 March 1893–12 March 1998), artist, was born in San Francisco, to Benjamin Wood and Carrara Wood (maiden name not known). Beatrice then moved with her family to New York City, where she was raised. Her formal artistic training consisted mainly of drawing classes at the Académie Julien in Paris in 1910....