American Art Pottery Association gathers in Philly

PHILADELPHIA – It’s a total art pottery experience – one you won’t want to miss – when the American Art Pottery Association returns to the Philadelphia area April 22-26, 2009, for its annual convention at the Sheraton Bucks County Hotel in Langhorne, Pa.

Building on the success of last year’s event, held for the first time in greater Philadelphia, the AAPA will once again present five days of activities open to the public, that give insiders a look into what is fast becoming one of the most fascinating and potentially valuable collecting/investing fields today.

Here is a pottery event unlike any other – one that combines great buying with a chance to learn more about this beautiful art form. The convention kicks off with a much-anticipated art pottery auction, followed by the country’s greatest two-day pottery show and sale, featuring dozens of pottery dealers from throughout America. Attending these two events is the best way to start building a collection of American and European art pottery of your own, as well as getting in on, at the outset, the rising talents whose work is just now being recognized in the market.

This year’s auction will be held on Friday, April 24 at 5 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel Philadelphia Northeast and will be conducted by well-known auctioneer Greg Belhorn of Belhorn Auction Services, LLC.

The auction, featuring several hundred lots of vintage and contemporary pottery, starts with a preview, reception and a special book signing at 3:30 p.m., of Beauty in Common Things: American Arts & Crafts Pottery from the Two Red Roses Foundation, co-authored by convention keynote speaker Dr. Martin Eidelberg, Professor Emeritus of Art History at Rutgers University and Jonathan Clancy, Ph.D., lecturer in American Fine & Decorative Art at Sotheby Institute of Art.

The two-day show and sale on April 25-26, brings together more than 50 of the country’s finest and most knowledgeable pottery dealers in a setting that features booth after booth of some of the most sought-after vintage and contemporary pottery today. This year’s show and sale presents a first look at one of the most important collections of American Arts & Crafts pottery in the country – the Two Red Roses Foundation collection. The show and sale also features Booth Chats on both days – a great way to learn more about collecting and investing in art pottery, as well as hourly prizes, and a pottery table on Sunday.

Increasingly popular with the public are the convention’s seminars and tours. A focus of this year’s convention is Arts & Crafts period pottery with both a seminar and keynote presentation addressing the popularity and growth of this category. Jonathan Clancy, Ph.D., will give an overview of the Two Red Roses Foundation’s collection in a special seminar, while author Dr. Eidelberg’s keynote presentation at the annual banquet on April 22 is “Arts & Crafts Pottery: What’s In A Name.”

In yet another seminar, tile expert Suzanne Perrault, author and Antiques Roadshow appraiser, will speak on the tile creations of William Grueby; while contemporary artisans Paul Katrich, Scott Draves, Eric Olsen, and Chris Powell will share insights about their work and the future of art pottery in a third seminar. 

Rounding out the convention are two bus tours: one is Wednesday, April 22 to the Craftsman Farms, Gustav Stickley’s home, now a National Historic Landmark; and one is Thursday, April 23, to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a private viewing of the Gordon collection of Rookwood pottery.

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