In February 1893, Florence Pratt Steward organized 15 of Chicago's most talented female china decorators to create an exhibition of their work in the Woman's Building at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Calling themselves the Atlan Ceramic Art Club, they made a creditable showing, winning 18 medals, more than any other club in the country.

The Atlan's goal was to develop a style of ceramic decoration that would be "original" and "distinctly American." Toward this end, members adopted "conventional" decoration—the stylization and original configuration of plants and other motifs drawn from nature—as the only acceptable style for their work. It soon became the club's trademark. There motto was "Patience, Persistence and Progress".

In 1898, seeking professional guidance in design, they engaged Florence Koehler, a talented artist and china painter, who showed them how to use enamel paints on porcelain and introduced the club to her philosophy of Historic Ornament, which advocated deriving conventionalized designs from different cultural traditions—Egyptian, Persian, Arabic, Moorish, East Indian, Chinese, and Japanese

Atlan membership was restricted to 25 Chicagoans and a few outsiders, although associate members, who could participate in the annual club training courses, often numbered more than 60. Most of the active members were professional china decorators, many of whom were graduates of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Several maintained studios where they taught china painting and sold their work; others worked out of their homes. Beginning in 1894, the Atlan Ceramic Art Club held much-anticipated exhibitions of their work at the Art Institute of Chicago. Annual exhibitions continued for 31 years, until the Club merged with the Technic Art League (formerly the Chicago Ceramic Art Association).

These beautiful plates, there are (9) remaining of original (10) available for sale from the original set of 12, circa 1920. None carry the Atlan mark as this was only applied to items intended for exhibition; none of the ten plates are signed by the artist. Of the remaining two, one is signed "Wright" for Jane V D Wright (Mrs E Scofield) member of club 1906-1917 and the other has some damage; both are in a private collection.

The plates are decorated with a wide band of lush ripe lemons and colorful lemon blossoms nestled among soft green leaf covered branches. Each element is either outlined in black or gold. A band on either side of this decorative band displays a multitude of delicate gold dots. The narrow rim and deco style center band is also gold. Each plate is hand-marked on the base "For Mrs. A. H. Carpenter From the Atlan Club" Mr. Carpenter was associated with the Chicago Art Institute for many years and held various positions. Also pictured is a hand-written history of the plates. The plates measure 8 1/2" across and are painted on china blanks marked in green "GDA - France" circa 1900-1953, representing the Gerard, Dufraisseix & Abbot Company, an exporter to the United States. There are no cracks, chips, repairs; near mint, rare and fabulous.

ITEM ID
RL0005731
TYPE
Decorative, Hand Painted, Porcelain
COLOR
Black, Gold, Green, Pink, White, Yellow
STYLE
Arts and Crafts
ORIGIN
United States • American
PURPOSE
Decorator Plates, Plates
ITEM TYPE
Antique

Brys Antiques

Atlan Ceramic Art Club H.P. Arts & Crafts Plates w/Lemon Fruit & Blossoms

$245 ea.

Quantity available: 9
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