The Identification of United States Art Tiles
Prior to the start of this blog in 2012, I was interested in the identification of antique tiles of the United States, which I still collect. Many of these tiles were marked, but many more were not marked in any way. Almost all, however, had "keys" on their reverse sides. Keys are the raised and/or indented areas on the reverse of a tile which are used to help a tile stick to a surface. Some keys are unique to a single tile manufacturer while others were used by more than one company. I tried to organize key patterns found on the backs of most U.S. tiles into a rational classification system loosely based on the work of British tile researchers Diana and Peter Clegg.
In 1997 I donated my research manuscript, A Guide to the Patterns and Markings on the Backs of Untied States Ceramic Tiles, 1870s-1930s, to the Tile Heritage Foundation, which, subsequently, sold copies to the public. In 1999 I self-published the first edition of A Field Guide to the Key Patterns on the Backs of United States Ceramic Tiles, 1870s-1930s, which is now in its third edition as a free download on the internet.(1) The field guide now contains drawings of about 800 key patterns on United States tiles, and new key patterns are being added as they are discovered.
In 2005 The Journal of the American Art Pottery Association published my article and classification system of key patterns that underlies the "Field Guide".(2) That article is reprinted below with updates to the original. I do not claim that the classification system below is the only system that can be used with United States tiles. It is, however, the only system that has been published in conjunction to any research about key patterns that has been done to date.
1. Visit http://tilefieldguide.omeka.net/items/show/49, scroll down to "Files" and click on the pdf document. It can be downloaded to your computer.
2. Michael Padwee, "The Identification of Art Tiles: Key Patterns", The Journal of the American Art Pottery Association, Volume 21, No. 1, January/February 2005, pp. 12-15.
Robert Pinart Papers Study Guide
The archivists at the Rakow Research Library have published an online Study Guide to the Robert Pinart Papers at
† Many of Mr. Pinart's papers, maquettes, drawings, sketchbooks and personal stained glass had been sold at auction to help pay for his stay in an assisted living residence.
Some Newly Found Resources
[The project presents] a survey list of Islamic heritage in Portugal (Including contemporary heritage of Islamic influence), both built and museological, with a methodically description in systematic records."
|According to AramcoWorld, Kelvin Bown "stitched together nine digital scans [of the dome of Qubbat al-Sakhra] made from stereoscopic negatives originally taken between 1899 and 1920 by photographers commissioned by the American Colony of Jerusalem."|
LINKS TO MY PAST BLOG ARTICLES
"Tile Advertisements in the Paris Métro" and "SAVED!!! The Empire State Dairy Tile Murals in Brooklyn, New York"
"The Sevillian tile style: Catalogo de Azulejos de Estilo Sevillano"
"The Sevillian tile style: Catalogo de Azulejos de Estilo Sevillano"
"Bits and Pieces: Updates for the Lever House, the Kesner Building and 2116 Ditmas Avenue, Brooklyn" and an obituary for Robert Pinart
"The Commercial and Personal Art Tiles of Rafael Guastavino, Jr." (Part I)
"Art Deco Commercial Architecture: Montgomery Ward’s Mid-Size Department Stores"
"Tessellations: Islamic Tile Patterns and M.C. Escher"
"Grant's Tomb, the Community and the Gaudi-esque benches of Pedro Silva" AND A request for help
"A Factory As It Might Be" and the 2016 Ortner Preservation Awards
The Atlantic Terra Cotta Company and the Beginnings of Polychrome Terra Cotta Use
Bits and Pieces: The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and following up on the James N. Gamble House and the Charles Volkmar Overmantle Mural
Art Deco Buildings and Their Lobbies: the Chrysler Building, the Film Center Building and the Kent Garage/Sofia Brothers Storage Warehouse
ARCHITECTURAL MURALS OF LUMEN MARTIN WINTER and a REPORT ON THE EMPIRE STATE DAIRY BUILDING
The Heart of the Park: Bethesda Terrace and its suspended Minton Tile ceiling
A Landmarks hearing was held on July 19, 2016...
Two Restorations: The City Hall Subway Station and the Tweed Courthouse
Egyptian, Moorish and Middle Eastern Ornamentation Used In Art Deco Terra Cotta in New York City, and Empire State Dairy Update
Wall Murals in Brooklyn: A Mini Survey
Inside Prospect Park: The park's Rustic, Classical and other Internal Architecture
Herman Carl Mueller in Titusville and Trenton, New Jersey; A Charles Volkmar Discovery in Clifton, New Jersey
A Book Review and New Discoveries and Updates-II: Jean Nisan, Ceramic Tile Artist
Polychrome Terra Cotta Buildings in Newark, New Jersey
New Discoveries-I: The Tiled House of Jere T. Smith
Introducing the Stained and Dalle de Verre Glass Art of Robert Pinart
Bits and Pieces: Polychrome Terra Cotta- and Tile-Clad Buildings
Socialist and Labor Architecture and Iconography in New York City
Bits and Pieces: Two Mosaics--Hamden, CT and Manchester, NH
The Renaissance Casino and Ballroom Complex in Harlem: Another Tunisian Tile Installation Headed for Demolition
Clement J. Barnhorn and the Rookwood Pottery
The Woolworth Building
The Mosaic Art of Hildreth Meière
Lost Tile Installations: The Tunisian Tiles of the Chemla Family
The Grueby Children's Murals on East 104th Street
The Experimental Lustre Tiles of Rafael Guastavino, Jr.
Bits and Pieces: Two "E"s--Eltinge and Elks; and more about Jean Nison
The Ceramic Tiles and Murals of Jean Nison
Pleasant Days in Short Hills: A Rookwood Wonderland
Architectural Ceramics in the Queen City
Isaac Broome: Innovation and Design in the Tile Industry after the Centennial Exhibition
"Immigration on the Lower East Side": A Public Arts Mural Created by Richard Haas
Movie Palaces-Part 2: The Loews 175th Street Theatre
Béton-Coignet in New York: The New York and Long Island Coignet Stone Company
Michelin House, London
Movie Palaces, Part 1: Loew's Valencia Theatre
An Architectural and Ceramic Tour of Istanbul - Part II
The Tiles of Fonthill Castle
An Architectural and Ceramic Tour of Istanbul - Part I
Tiled Facades in Madrid
Nineteenth Century Brooklyn Potteries
Ernest Batchelder in Manhattan
Leon Victor Solon: Color, Ceramics and Architecture
Architectural Art Tiles in Reading, Pennsylvania
Charles Lamb and Charles Volkmar
Kansas City Architecture - II
Kansas City Architecture - I
Westchester County--Atwood and Grueby
Modern Houses in New Caanan, Connecticut
PPG Place, Pittsburgh
Aluminum City Terrace, New Kensington, Pennsylvania
Newark's WPA Tile Murals: “Fine Art is an Important Part of Everyday Life”
Public Art Programs in New York City: The CETA Tile Murals at Clark Street
Concrete and Tiles-I: Moyer, Mercer, Murosa
The Café Savarin and the Rookwood Pottery; Chocolate Shoppe Rebounds
Architectural Ceramics of Henry Varnum Poor
Herman Carl Mueller and the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle
Meet Me at the Astor
The Mikvah Under 5 Allen Street; "Historic Hall" Apartments Revisited
Some Moravian Tile Sites in New York
Brooklyn's International Tile Company
Subway Tiles-Part III, the Squire Vickers Era
Subway Tiles-Part II, Heins and LaFarge
Subway Tiles--Part I, Guastavino tiles
Trent in New York-Part III, Historic Hall Apartment House
American Encaustic Tiling Company-Part II, Artists' Tiles
Trent in New York-Part II, a Dey Street Restaurant
American Encaustic Tiling Company-Part I, Tile Showrooms
Trent in New York-Part I, The Bronx Theatre
Fred Dana Marsh's Tiles
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