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ArtsAndCraftsTile.com

Ernest A. Batchelder

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Ernest A. Batchelder

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Ernest A. Batchelder (1875–1957) was an educator and artist living in Southern California in the early 20th century. He is famous for his hand made art tiles.

Batchelder came to Pasadena, California, in the early 1900s to teach. He became director of the art department at Throop Polytechnic Institute, the predecessor of the California Institute of Technology.

His life took a turn in 1909 when, behind his house overlooking the Arroyo Seco, he built a kiln and entered the business of creating hand-crafted art tiles. The tiles were hugely popular, and by the 1920s, Batchelder’s tiles could be found in homes and buildings across the United States. Batchelder’s prominence in Southern California's art community included his involvement in the founding of the Pasadena Art Institute and his membership in the Pasadena Society of Artists.

The Batchelder House, built in Pasadena in the early 1900s where Ernest set up his first kiln, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The current resident, Dr. Robert Winter, wrote the definitive Batchelder history, Batchelder Tilemaker (Balcony Press, 1999, 112 pp, ISBN 1-890449-03-2). Although the house is not open to the public, some Batchelder tiles, stamped with heraldic animals and figures, may be found on the walkway in front of the dwelling.

Batchelder House

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The Batchelder House is a historic home built in 1910 and located at 626 South Arroyo Boulevard in Pasadena, California. An important center of Pasadena cultural life in its day, the home was designed and built by Ernest A. Batchelder, a prominent leader of the Arts and Crafts Movement, and his wife, Alice Coleman, an accomplished musician. Batchelder's first craft shop was located in the structure, where decorative tiles were made for Greene and Greene, the Heineman Brothers, and other noted local architects of the era.

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