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Henrietta Davidson Bailey
Newcomb College Newcomb Ceramicist
(New Orleans, LA, 1874 - 1950, New Orleans, LA)
Henrietta Bailey was one of the more prolific artists at the Newcomb Pottery, working at the school for over 30 years.
Born in New Orleans on February 27, 1874, she enrolled at Newcomb College as a Normal Art student in 1901 and graduated in 1903, only to re-register as a Graduate Art student from 1903–1905. In 1905 she was awarded a prestigious scholarship to study with Arthur Wesley Dow at his summer school in Ipswich, Massachusetts, where she was able to further develop her style of Arts and Crafts decoration.
Bailey is listed in the University yearbook as an independent designer from 1904 until 1909, when she was made an official Art Craftsman. As a Craftsman, she worked as a pottery decorator and as well as a printmaker, and also served as a substitute instructor for China Painting classes. In 1926 she joined the faculty as an art instructor, and she stayed until retirement in 1938.
Bailey’s ceramic work is atmospheric and her blockprints have a recognizable style that feature misty, overcast Louisiana swamps and bayous with “beautiful moonlight, sunlight and early morning overtones.” Her work was exhibited in the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, California, and in 1931 she received first prize at Southern States Art Leagues Exhibition, Savannah, Georgia for the best collection of decorated pottery. Bailey also exhibited her ceramics at Houston's Museum of Fine Arts, the Arts Association of New Orleans, and other prominent galleries throughout the South.
Henrietta Davidson Bailey died on November 10, 1950.