Serendipitously, the clay Van Briggle found in Colorado was exactly what he needed to create the signature “dead” matte-finish glaze of his pottery. Shortly after his arrival, he experimented with a mineralogy expert and a professor of chemistry and metallurgy at Colorado College to discover the perfect formula. The hours of artfully scientific work paid off, and within the next four years—the last of his short lifetime—Van Briggle created vessels that still carry international renown today. His widow, Anne, continued to run the pottery and help secure its legacy as, what New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art calls, “one of America’s most important and longest lasting art potteries.
By The Numbers
Artus Van Briggle’s age when his painting was displayed at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair
The year Van Briggle went to Paris’ Julian School of Art
Estimated annual American tuberculosis related deaths in the 1800s
Total Van Briggle designs created between 1898 and 1912
Height in inches of the Lorelei vase, now at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
Selling price for a Van Briggle vase at a 2017 auction