Low Art Tile Works
Chelsea, Massachusetts

Together with his father, John Gardner Low founded the J. & J.G. Low Art Tile Works in Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1877, having been inspired by the European tiles at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876. The company's reputation grew rapidly in the early 1880s as many prestigious medals were won. The company's name was altered in 1883 when John G.'s son, J. F. Low, took the place of his grandfather who had retired.

Low Art Tile is revered today as one of a half dozen companies to pioneer the development of decorative tiles in the United States. The factory specialized in high relief tiles for walls and fireplaces and established a reputation for innovation in design that is clearly reflected in the tile presented here.

The preceding description is taken largely from the "Foreword" written by Norman and Shannon Karlson of the reproduction of the "Illustrated Catalogue of Art Tiles Made by J.G. & J.F. Low Art Tile, Chelsea, Mass., U.S.A." in 1887, which is available for purchase through the Tile Heritage Foundation. In 1990 the original catalogue was donated to Tile Heritage for safekeeping by the Karlsons.

For a more complete picture of the Low Art Tile Works, see American Art Tile 1876-1941 by Norman Karlson or the eight part series on Low Art Tiles by Barbara White Morse in "Flash Point."

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