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The Tile Heritage Foundation, founded in 1987 as a nonprofit charitable organization, is dedicated to promoting an awareness and appreciation of ceramic surfaces in the United States. The Foundation serves the need for a historical perspective regarding all ceramic surfacing materials, both past and present. In addition to aiding in the education of the general public about the rich and varied history of tile, the organization has become a major voice in the preservation of existing installations of rare and unusual ceramic surfaces while enhancing the visibility of contemporary tile work as well. Tile Heritage involves more than the promotion and protection of tiles, murals and mosaics. The Foundation represents the need to preserve a perception of ourselves. From the time of the earliest cave paintings and molded clay forms, people have always sought to conceptualize themselves and inspire others through artistic endeavors. Safekeeping ceramic surfaces today is an integral part of preserving ourselves, a means of being remembered and understood by future generations.


"There is no more market for old tiles than for diseased tonsils."

- Albert Solon, founder of Solon & Schemmel, manufacturers of wall and floor tile in San Jose, California, in correspondence to a friend and former employer, October 29, 1930.

As we expand and remodel our existing world, increasing numbers of old tiles as well as terra cotta and brick facades are torn away, thoughtlessly discarded and lost forever. Join in the historic venture to unearth the ceramic traditions which beautify our homes and urban centers today. Play a vital role in stimulating public appreciation and support for our national ceramic \ treasure. Invest in preserving one of America's most permanent, yet vulnerable, artistic traditions. Why should we care about the fate of ceramic surfaces in America? Because we are all a part of the tradition; this is our heritage.


As a member you will be sponsoring ongoing research into the history of ceramic tile and other ceramic surfaces in the United States and abroad. You will be assisting in the continued development of a library of information and materials, which is available to the public for purposes of research, restoration and preservation. You will become a part of an international network of tile enthusiasts dedicated to preserving tiles themselves, tile-related information and significant installations. You will receive the periodicals published by the Tile Heritage Foundation, including E-News every month, sent either via email or by post, and Tile Heritage: A Review of American Tile History, now in its eighth volume, each time it is published. You will be able to buy books and other gift items, all of which benefits the Foundation. You will have the opportunity to participate in educational events presented by the Foundation. You may take advantage of discounts offered on registration fees, as well as, on selected items and services offered by the Tile Heritage Foundation.


Tile Heritage is dedicated to the accumulation of information and materials related to ceramic surfaces. A library and research facility is open to the public by appointment. The Archives, estimated at over 20,000 items, contain rare and current books, magazines, bulletins, catalogs and a vast assortment of photocopies as well as slides and photographs, drawings, blueprints and old tile company records. The information is organized by company, geographic area and subject matter. The Collection of tiles and related ephemera, all donated to the Foundation, is currently in storage awaiting display space. Tile Heritage welcomes gifts of both historic and contemporary tiles and any other related material. The Foundation does not use donated funds to purchase tiles.


Tile Heritage Award
Presented to
Joe Koons
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