(b Trenton, NJ, 29 March 1859; d Trenton, 11 Jan 1920). American pottery manufacturer and designer. He learned to design pottery forms and decoration with Elijah Tatler (1823-76) at the Trenton Pottery. In 1883 he became art director for Ott & Brewer, Trenton, and was instrumental in developing an American version of Irish Belleek that was highly decorated with coloured glazes and raised gold pastework. In 1887 he developed a similar line for the Willets Manufacturing Co. in Trenton. These two potteries made primarily ironstone dinner and toilet wares, but Lenox was determined to create a company completely devoted to art wares. With several partners he founded in 1889 the small Ceramic Art Co., Trenton, which made a delicate ivory porcelain elaborately decorated in high Victorian taste. About 1902 the firm began to experiment with tableware, making costly services for individual clients. In 1906 the manufacture of exclusively decorated table services was formally inaugurated, and the company's name changed to the Lenox China Co. In 1918 the firm produced the first American-made service for the White House, Washington, DC, during the presidency of Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), and subsequently new state services for Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), Harry Truman (1884-1972), Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) and Bill Clinton (b 1946). It is now the largest producer of fine dinnerware in the USA.
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.