Five vases created more than a century ago at an Ohio pottery plant and displayed at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis are together again at a museum in eastern Ohio.
The vases created by artists at the former Weller Pottery plant in Zanesville are now on display at the Zanesville Museum of Art, the Zanesville Times Recorder reports. The huge, hand-painted vases created in the late 19th and early 20th centuries stand from 5- to 7-feet tall and represent monumental technical achievements in ceramics, the museum’s executive director, Laine Snyder, said.
“Even in their period, they were recognized as being these fabulous achievements in the fine arts,” Snyder said.
The vases were reunited through the efforts of Pottery Lovers, a Zanesville-based group that purchased one of the vases at an auction in 1995 and donated it to the museum. The group worked to obtain the other vases, which recently were donated on loan to the museum from private owners in Indiana after three years of negotiations.
There were 37 potteries in Zanesville in 1923, according to Alva Richardson, a Pottery Lovers trustee.
Sam Weller established his first pottery in the eastern Ohio village of Fultonham in 1872, making earthenware for everyday use. He started producing more creative pieces after relocating the plant to Zanesville about a decade later and employed more than 200 potters by 1895, the newspaper reported.
Weller and his craftsman made the large vases for the St. Louis World’s Fair, with the largest winning the gold medal in the arts category, according to the newspaper. A special kiln was created for the giant vases, and some had to be made in two pieces.
The vases are on display through Oct. 11.