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Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Scope and Contents
  • Biographical/ Historical
  • Preferred Citation

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Pepperdine University. Special Collections and University Archives.
    Title: Malibu Tiles Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: 0141
    Physical Description: 2.4 Linear Feet Two cartons.
    Date: 1926-1932
    Abstract: The Malibu Tiles Collection contains tiles from Malibu Potteries, a historic Malibu ceramic company which operated in the early 20th century. Malibu Potteries, owned by May Knight Rindge, produced tiles and ceramic pieces heavily inspired by Moorish, Mayan, Spanish, and Saracen cultures, featuring Art Deco influences. Despite their brief production run, they played an influential role in local architecture, and can still be viewed in various public locations throughout Malibu and greater Los Angeles. This collection contains a portion of the original tiles produced.
    Container: 1

    Conditions Governing Access

    Advance notice required for access.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

    Scope and Contents

    The Malibu Tile Collection contains twenty-five tiles, most produced by the locally operated Malibu Potteries (1926-1932). The tiles are various shapes and sizes, and many of the designs are inspired by Saracen, Moorish, Spanish, and Mayan cultures. The collection is organized by XXXX.

    Biographical/ Historical

    Known as "The Queen of Malibu," May Knight Rindge - the last owner of Rancho Malibu - opened Malibu Potteries in 1926 after discovering rich deposits of red clay on her property. This discovery coincided with a burgeoning demand for decorative tiles fueled by the 1920s Los Angeles housing boom and the popularity of both Art Deco and Spanish Revival architecture. Rindge hired Rufus Keeler, a local ceramic engineer, to construct and operate the plant, and to formulate the proprietary glazes used on the tiles. After suffering catastrophic damage from a 1931 fire, the factory briefly resumed production on a limited basis, but was permanently closed in 1932 due to the economic pressures of the Great Depression.
    Malibu Potteries produced tiles and ceramic pieces heavily inspired by Moorish, Mayan, Spanish, and Saracen cultures, featuring Art Deco influences. Despite their brief production run, they played an influential role in local architecture, and can still be viewed in various public locations throughout Malibu and greater Los Angeles. Notably, Los Angeles City Hall has a sizable installation, as does the Serra Retreat - formerly May Rindge's Malibu Home. However, the most significant remaining installation of Malibu Tiles can be seen at the Adamson House in Malibu. Built at the heyday of Malibu Potteries in 1929, the Adamson house was the dream home of May Rindge's daughter Rhoda and her husband Merritt Adamson.
    In addition to their foundational role in the history of Malibu, the Adamson-Rindge family contributed significantly to the history of Pepperdine, donating a large portion of the land on which the Malibu campus was founded.

    Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder# or item name], [Name of collection], Collection no.[], [Sub repository], Special Collections and University Archives, Univesrity Libraries, Pepperdine University.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Malibu (Calif.) -- History -- 20th century
    Ceramic tiles
    Art deco
    Rindge, May, 1864-1941
    Adamson House (Malibu, Calif.)