Anna Francis Simpson 1880-1930

Newcomb Pottery Art Vase, 1921, Anna Francis Simpson, 1920-1929
10 x 5.50 in
The most sought-after design for Newcomb Pottery, depicting mossy oaks, on a large and fine example designed by Anna Francis Simpson in 1921. If you're reading this you're probably already familiar with this famous pottery and its lush history; if not, there is a wealth of information on Google that you will find by searching on "Newcomb Pottery." This is an unusually large example, so it has a powerful presence. Most of what you see out there is a lot smaller and reads more as a lovely tabletop accessory than serious art that can hold its place on the mantel of a distinguished home. In fine condition. I have included a photo of the potter's marks on the bottom, identifying the date and designer.

Anna Francis Simpson

Anna Frances Connor Simpson was born in 1880 in New Orleans, into a family of seven. She was educated at Newcomb College, received her Diploma in Art and completed two more years as a graduate. After her graduation, she worked as a decorator in the Newcomb Pottery until a year before her death in 1930.
Newcomb College was founded as the women’s branch of Tulane University. The university sought to educate women in arts and crafts vocations. When brothers William and Ellsworth Woodward arrived in the 1880s, they fell in with this philosophy and founded the Newcomb Pottery to embody the Arts and Crafts movement. Arts and Crafts reacted against sterile, overly ornate, machine-produced objects of design which paid no respect to their materials or to the individual people responsible for them. The associated artists sought to ground their largely handmade works in the imagery and the native resources of the place that birthed them. So the Newcomb Pottery hired local artisans to hand-turn unique, decorative yet functional bowls, plates, and vases from Louisiana clay, decorated mainly with southern flora and fauna as well as the signature transparent mat glaze they developed. A complex language of marks gave credit to each artist involved in the production of the piece.
Newcomb pottery took prizes in eight international exhibitions. As more and more buyers clamored for their own piece, the potters toned down their creativity in order to churn out enough, and the high prices consigned the pieces, ironically, to luxury items. Through the 20s and 30s, as art fads shifted, the pillars of the pottery retired, and it finally faded out in 1940, leaving behind some of the finest American pottery of its period.


Sources include:
Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane,
Rago Arts,