While the adage may go, “Behind every great man is a great woman,” the story of Maria Longworth Storer necessitates a new adage—at the front of every great city is a great woman. After being shunted into the biographies and history books of other people, Longworth Storer is now finally given center stage on the one hundred and seventieth anniversary of her birth.
Maria Longworth Storer: From Music and Art to Popes and Presidents is the most comprehensive biography of this one of a kind Cincinnatian. Known as the founder of the first female-run manufacturing company in the United States, Rookwood Pottery, Longworth Storer was passionate about women’s rights, her city, and issues of poverty and the arts. She owned Rookwood pottery for nine years, and then transferred ownership after earning recognition at the Exhibition of American Art Industry in Philadelphia and receiving a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. Aside from her success with Rookwood, Longworth Storer was central to making the Queen City the major cultural landmark it is today. Although the rest of her life was no less remarkable as the wife of notorious diplomat Bellamy Storer, later embroiled in the famous Roosevelt-Storer scandal, little has been written about her contributions and exploits in diplomatic relations and her powerful influence on turn-of-the-twentieth-century political leaders.
Featuring new archival research, and never before seen photos of the Storer family, authors Constance J. Moore and Nancy M. Broermann have compiled a portrait of Maria Longworth Storer that is rich in detail, fitting to both the wide, often eclectic, breadth of Longworth Storer’s projects, and to the depth of her impact on leaders from Washington D.C. to Europe.
Moving through major moments in both American and Cincinnati history, and intersecting with significant historical figures including Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, Moore and Broermann expose the broader historical narrative of Longworth Storer’s life without letting her unique spirit and individual accomplishments become overshadowed by them.
Through thoughtful, balanced narrative, readers get to know a remarkable woman whose fascinating and dramatic life as a political figure, women’s rights advocate, and patron of the arts has had a long lasting legacy on the Queen City and the Shaping of our nation’s diplomatic policies.
Prologue: December 1905-Egypt Ch. 1: Wealthiest Unmarried Lady in the Country Ch. 2: Season of Hope, of Desire, of Promise Ch. 3: Good Looks, Intelligence, and Character Ch. 4: Giggle, Gabble, Gobble, and Go Ch. 5: Exiles Ch. 6: This Ungrateful Country Ch. 7: Ambassadress Ch. 8: “Dear Theodore” versus “Dear Maria” Ch. 9: Gadflies Ch. 10: Modern Monstrosities Ch. 11: Drifting Along Alone Epilogue: Equal Footing with Intelligent Men
Nancy M. Broermann has always enjoyed studying and researching Cincinnati’s history. While working as an archivist for the Ursuline Sisters at St. Ursula Academy (SUA), she discovered that Maria Longworth Storer and her husband Bellamy lived at SUA for nearly four years. Constance J. Moore, a Theodore Roosevelt researcher from El Paso, Texas, called the archives and asked, “Who is this woman?” That phone call started a seven-year search to learn about this remarkable lady. They found letters in European and American archives, interviewed Maria’s great grandsons in France, and co-authored this book to share Maria’s extraordinary story.
Prior to her work in the archives, Nancy researched and wrote articles in several county histories and has authored/co-authored four family history books. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati and taught in elementary schools in Ohio, Illinois, and Texas. During Constance’s 25-year Army career, she served in various psychiatric nursing positions, in hospital education, and nursing academic roles. Notable assignments included: Army Nursing Corps Historian and Pentagon Crisis Management Team Member after the 9-11 bombings. She has written extensively about nursing history and healthcare topics. She holds degrees from Iowa State University, Seattle University, and San Jose State University.
"Maria Longworth Storer began her pioneering work in Cincinnati to elevate the artistry of American pottery. As a young girl, I was entranced by the beauty of Rookwood pottery pieces. It is an honor for me to be today's steward of Storer's legacy. I am thrilled that her story—still inspiring more than a century later—is being shared through this book."
~Marilyn J. Scripps, owner, Rookwood Pottery
"Maria Longworth Storer is intelligently arranged an weaves the story of a complex life in a most agreeable way without sacrificing any academic intent. The research is the best I have seen during the forty-five years I have been researching Cincinnati decorative arts and Cincinnati Ceramics."
~Anita Ellis, former deputy director of curatorial affairs, Cincinnati Art Museum
“A wonderful tribute to the legacies that Maria left in art, music, and philanthropy as her life took her from Cincinnati, Ohio to Marvejols, France. Her bold leadership and dedication to her principles reminds us of the strength in kindness, the healing power of art, and the need for activist spirits. At long last, Maria’s remarkable story as a pioneer on both the national and international stage is being told.”
~Count Jacques de Chambrun, Maria’s great-grandson
“Maria Longworth Storer is a must read for those who care about the cultural history of Cincinnati, and the U.S. during the early 20th century”
~Roberta Schultz, WVXU Cincinnati Public Radio
"Nancy and Constance spent years researching Maria Longworth Storer, and together found a treasure trove of letters and documents that shed a light on Maria's rich contributions to the world. Little has been written about Longworth Storer's contributions and her exploits in diplomatic relations or her powerful influence on turn-of-the-twentieth-century political leaders... until now."
~Saint Ursula Academy Magazine
Maria Longworth Storer: Book Trailer
A brief trailer for 'Maria Longworth Storer: From Music and Art to Popes and Presidents' by Nancy Broermann and Constance Moore, featuring details about Maria's accomplishments, and a testimonial about Maria's legacy from the authors.