Adelaide Alsop Robineau


  • An American Potter

    'The Apotheosis of the ToilerAdelaide Alsop Robineau (1865-1929) was an American painter and potter from Syracuse, NY, who began exploring porcelain as her medium for artistic expression after having worked as a china painter. Her work was influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement, the ideas of William Morris and by the Art Nouveau style.

    In 1899 Robineau became involved as editor in the ceramics publication Keramic Studio, a pioneering American ceramics magazine. It was through an article published in that magazine that she became interested in porcelain, subsequently studying porcelain making under the renown Charles Binns, who taught at Alfred University between 1900 and 1931.

    Robineau inspecting Scarab VasePorcelain became the medium with which she would create intricately incised works, often of a very ornate nature. Her 1910 ‘Scarab Vase’ (pictured; height 17″/43 cm) is regarded as being of particular importance and is the work she is most well-known for. It’s actual title is The Apotheosis of the Toiler, a reference to the ‘unknown potter’, but it is also known as the Scarab Vase, because of it’s scarab theme.

    Robineau is said to have spent 1000 hours working on this particular piece. When it emerged from the bisque firing, it had numerous cracks that her teacher told her were impossible to repair. But Robineau filled the cracks with bisque paste and was able to finish the piece after all.

    Robineau enjoyed many successes, in particular the 1911 awarding of the Grand Prize at the International Exposition of Decorative Arts at Turin in Italy.

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