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Fry, Laura Ann (1857–1943)

Fry, Laura Ann (1857–1943)

American artist. Born 1857 in US; died 1943; dau. of William Henry Fry (wood carver and teacher) and Effie Watkin; graduate of Cincinnati School of Design.

Studied drawing, sculpture, wood carving and china painting at Cincinnati School of Design (1872–76); continued studies in Trenton, New Jersey, learning art of throwing, decorating and glazing pottery; went on to study in France and England; was founding member of Cincinnati Art Pottery Club (1879), with Clara Newton and Louise McLaughlin; became 1st employee of Maria Longworth Nichols Storer's Rookwood Pottery (1881); introduced use of atomizer (patented under name "airbrush blending") for applying slips to moist pots, and pioneered underglazing techniques which made "Standard" Rookwood ware the best-known feature of firm's Arts and Crafts pottery; embraced Arts and Crafts movement started by British poet William Morris which sought to return dignity to craft, celebrating simplicity, good design and individual workmanship while also seeking to make decorative art affordable; left Rookwood (1887) to become professor of Industrial Art (1891) and worked at the Lonhuda Pottery in Steubenville, Ohio (1891–94); returned to Rookwood; with 25 others, co-founded Lafayette Art Association in Indiana (1909), now the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette and affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution; helped association hold 1st exhibition (1911).

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