Mary Louise McLaughlin was born in Cincinnati on September 28, 1847 She attended the Cincinnati University School of Design from 1873 through 1877. She exhibited 28 pieces at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. She became interested in the so-called "Limoges" style of underslip painting coming from Paris at the time, and decided to learn to reproduce this process. Succeeding in only a few months, she exhibited her "Cincinnati Faience" at the Paris Universal Exposition in 1878 and won honorable mention. She went on to found the Cincinnati Pottery Club on April 1, 1879, and she and her club members produced pottery at the Dallas Pottery Company in Cincinnati. From 1881 through 1883 Mary and her club members were welcomed at the Rookwood pottery where they produced their artwork. During this time many of the pieces were unmarked, or signed only by the artists, but occasionally they were inscribed with Rookwood marks.
In 1898 Ms McLaughlin returned to pottery again creating "Losantiware", named for the original settlement that would become Cincinnati. In 1904 the kiln was dismantled for safety reasons, effectively ending her career in pottery. Of the 1139 pieces of Losanti created, less than one third was ever considered salable, and less than 50 were ever sold. Even so, she exhibited her Losanti at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo in 1901 and won a bronze medal. The vast majority of her work is in museums, with very small amounts in private hands, and as a result her work is quite rare and highly prized by collectors.
Ms. McLaughlin spent her last 19 years as a semi-recluse, and passed away at the age of 91 on January 16, 1939.
Example of a Mary McLaughlin "Alladin" vase in "Cincinnati Faience".
Example of a Mary McLaughlin artist mark "L.Mc L" according to Rookwood records.
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