Category Archives: In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Jane Osborn-Smith

The late artist and designer Jane Osborn-Smith was the wife of designer and sculptor Peter Aldridge.

The late artist and designer Jane Osborn-Smith was the wife of designer and sculptor Peter Aldridge.

A British painter, illustrator, and ceramist who specialized in delicately painted porcelain vessels, Jane Osborn-Smith died on October 1, 2013 in Old Chatham, New York. Though not her primary material, Osborn-Smith also worked with glass, designing engraved glass vessels and small-scale sculptures for Steuben from 1985 to 1998. Her Steuben design, Shakespeare’s Flowers, was selected by President and Mrs. George H. W. Bush as a gift of state to Queen Elizabeth II, commemorating the Queen’s visit to the United States in 1991. Her limited edition Swan Bowl, designed with her husband, Peter Aldridge, for Steuben in 1985, was an enduringly popular design for the luxury glass manufacturer. Continue reading

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In Memoriam: Stephen Antonakos (1926 – 2013)

Stephen Antonakos worked primarily in neon from the1960s, using the medium to redefine architectural space in gallery and public art projects.

Stephen Antonakos worked primarily in neon from the1960s, using the medium to redefine architectural space in gallery and public art projects.

Stephen Antonakos, a renowned Greek-American artist best known for his public artworks using neon to redefine architectural space, died yesterday in New York. He was 87 years old. Born in southern Greece, he immigrated to the United States in 1930. A prolific artist with over 100 shows and public installations around the world, Antonakos began his career as a multimedia artist frequently employing typography. He began to work primarily in neon in the early 1960s, inspired by street signage he had seen in New York City. Antonakos has permanent installations in Japan, Greece, Germany, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston, as well as the city he has called home since he left Greece: New York. Continue reading

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In Memoriam: Jiri Harcuba (1928 – 2013)

Jiri Harcuba was a generous teacher and an exceptional engraver, able to capture subtle details and shadings in his work.

“Every genuine creation is poetry. We do not create what we see, rather what we know and what we think and feel.”—Jiri Harcuba

Jiri Harcuba, the world-renowned and highly respected artist and master engraver also recognized in the field of coin and medal design, passed away from complications with pneumonia on the morning of July 26, 2013. Born on December 6, 1928 in the glassmaking village of Harrachov (in what is now the Czech Republic), Harcuba dedicated much of his life to teaching the world over and inspired countless people to find their own creative voices. I was introduced to engraving through a course I took with Harcuba at Pilchuck in 2003, and, as this became my primary technique of working with glass, he would go on to be my mentor. We co-taught a number of classes in engraving, the last one at The Corning Museum of Glass in 2012. Continue reading

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In Memoriam: Jonathan Christie (1968 – 2013)

Jonathan Christie, pictured in front of the largest work of his career, a public art collaborative piece entitled Lyrical Light (2006) at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts in Jacksonville, Florida.

Jonathan Christie, pictured in front of the largest work of his career, a public art collaborative piece entitled Lyrical Light (2006) at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts in Jacksonville, Florida.

Jonathan Christie, one of the most skilled hot-glass sculptors in the United States, died on Sunday, July 7, 2013, days after being hospitalized in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was 44 years old. In March 2013, Christie had returned to a city he had known from an earlier stint at New Orleans Glassworks in the early 1990s. Christie often changed location, and since graduating from college in 1992, had lived in Cincinnati; New York City; Seattle; Jacksonville, Florida; and the British Virgin Islands. Born in Scotland in 1968, he was 12 when he moved to the U.S. with his parents, and attended schools in New Canaan, Connecticut, and Londonderry, New Hampshire. It was at the Massachusetts College of Art where he discovered glass, and forged a life-long friendship with James Mongrain, a fellow glass major. Continue reading

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In Memoriam: Connie Parriott (1954 – 2013)

Connie Parriott. courtesy: Russell Johnson

Born on November 28, 1954, Connie Parriott died on the morning of June 8, 2013 after a long battle with cancer. photo: russell johnson

On Saturday morning,  June 8th, the art community lost a dear friend and colleague — Connie Parriott. After fighting a long battle with cancer, Connie was surrounded by friends and family later that evening for a two-day, two-night wake that was both a send-off and gathering to remember her life and all that she accomplished. Continue reading

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In Memoriam: David Whitehouse (1941–2013)

A skilled communicator, David Whitehouse frequently shared his enthusiasm for glass in lectures and on formal and impromptu tours of Corning's historic collections. courtesy: the corning museum of glass

A skilled communicator, David Whitehouse frequently shared his enthusiasm for glass in lectures and on formal and impromptu tours of Corning’s historic collections. courtesy: the corning museum of glass

The erudite, Cambridge-educated, and widely traveled former executive director of The Corning Museum of Glass, David Whitehouse died yesterday at the age of 71. He came to Corning to serve as the museum’s chief curator in 1984, was named deputy director of collections in 1987, was promoted to deputy director in 1988, became its director in 1992, and was given the joint title of executive director and curator of ancient and Islamic glass in 1999. During his 27-year tenure, he nearly doubled the Museum’s holdings through steady acquisitions. Among his many accomplishments was the 2006 founding of the The Corning Studio, a high-quality glass facility where technique is taught and artists rent time. After 12 years, Whitehouse stepped down from his leadership position at The Corning Museum in May 2011, but continued to research and study with the official title of “senior scholar” until his death on February 17, 2013, from complications related to cancer. Continue reading

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In Memoriam: Edith Franklin (1922 – 2012)

A 1962 Toledo Glass Workshop alumna, the late Edith Franklin wowed attendees of the 2012 Glass Art Society conference, wearing a Laura Sassville creation. She is pictured here with her companion Doug Adams in a Jean Marie Giguere neckpiece. photo: stephen wild and suzy lamont

On Friday, August 31st, Toledo-area ceramic artist Edith Franklin, who attended Harvey Littleton’s groundbreaking glass workshop at the Toledo Museum of Art in 1962, and played an starring role at several events at the 2012 Glass Art Society conference, died of complications related to cancer at the age of 89. Born in Toledo in 1922, Franklin became a prominent force in the area’s arts community taking numerous courses in ceramics and art at the Toledo Museum of Art, and was one of the participants in the now-legendary workshop where a new type of glass furnace allowed individual artists to use glass as an expressive material. Continue reading

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