Speaker line-up announced for December 2013 academic symposium “Issues in Glass Pedagogy”

 L to R: Jack Wax, Leslie Walker Noell, James Baker, Charlotte Potter, Helen Lee, Richard Whiteley, Ruth King, Peter Houk.


L to R: Jack Wax, Leslie Walker Noell, James Baker, Charlotte Potter, Helen Lee, Richard Whiteley, Ruth King, Peter Houk.

On December 6th and 7th, a unique academic symposium will bring the world of glass instructors, professors, and program administrators to Brooklyn, New York, for a two-day discussion of the most pressing issues in the field. A review panel made up of Dan Clayman, sculptor; Jack Wax of the Craft/Material Studies Dept at The Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts; Ruth King, artistic director emeritus of Pilchuck; Robert Minkoff, managing trustee of the Robert M. Minkoff Foundation; and Andrew Page, foundation director, selected from the many responses to a Call for Papers. (Disclosure: The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet is published by UrbanGlass, which is hosting the symposium, and edited by Andrew Page, who also serves as the director of the Minkoff Foundation). The resulting program brings together the new guard of glass academics who are taking over glass programs around the U.S., as well as their more established counterparts at some of the leading universities. In addition, the program will feature top administrators of non-accredited institutions such as Pilchuck, Penland, and UrbanGlass who will appear on a special panel to examine their relationship to degree-granting institutions. The program will be a mix of auditorium lectures and what are being billed as “studio lectures,” presentations taking place in the UrbanGlass studio that may make use of the newly renovated facilities to share practical techniques of teaching. Continue reading

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BOOK REPORT: A look at Louis Comfort Tiffany’s use of Favrile glass in his art glass objects

TiffanyCover

Paul Doros was inspired to write his book by a 2010 appearance at the New York Metropolitan Glass Club, where he lectured on the subject.

Though there are numerous books on the lamps, stained glass windows, and jewelry of Louis Comfort Tiffany, it is rare that the focus is on the art objects of the highly influential Art Nouveau artist and designer. A newly published book The Art Glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany (Vendome Press, $75) addresses that with over 200 pages of photography and scholarly analysis of this important aspect of Tiffany’s multi-faceted career. The author, Paul Doros, is a former curator at the Chrysler Museum of Art, where he penned the 1978 exhibition catalog The Tiffany Collection of the Chrysler Museum at Norfolk. Doros was inspired to write the book after a 2010 lecture he gave at the Metropolitan Glass Club, where he shared insights he gleaned during his tenure as glass curator for the Chrysler Muesum of Art and a glass expert at Christie’s 20th-century decorative arts department. Continue reading

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Less Is Sometimes More: William Morris “recomposed” Mazorca pieces allow details to come to the fore

William Morris, Mazorca (Detail), 2013. Blown glass, steel stand. H 29 12, W 12, D 8 in.

William Morris, Mazorca (Detail), 2013. Blown glass, steel stand. H 29 12, W 12, D 8 in.

When Mazorca was unveiled for a 2005 retrospective at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington, it was a bid for large-scale impact on the part of William Morris, known for the ability to create convincing organic texture in glass works that celebrate and reference the earthy qualities of tribal art from around the world. At more than 8-feet tall, the assemblage of carved heads, ears of corn, gourds, and various vessels dangling from a steel armature overwhelmed the senses, a cluster of objects that looked more like ceramic and carved wood and bone, strung up by thick hand-braided rope. That it all was made from glass was astonishing, but appreciation for the technical accomplishments of the Morris team-members who developed the processes on display may have been impeded by the sheer number of objects grouped together in the piece. After the museum exhibition closed, the massive work didn’t find a buyer, and languished on the market, most recently with a price-tag of $2 million, before it was recently announced that Morris would reconfigure the pieces into a number of smaller works Continue reading

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EVENT: Paul Marioni to discuss his 1972 award-winning film that predates his involvement with glass

Paul Marioni

Filmmaker turned glass artist Paul Marioni

On October 2nd at Seattle’s Project Room, American glass artist Paul Marioni will appear for a discussion of his 1972 film Hole , which will be screened later that evening at Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum as part of its ongoing “How is Seattle Remembered?” series. Interviewed on the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, Marioni described the film:

“It’s a pseudo-documentary about a man obsessed with holes. It’s 20 minutes long, and I shot it in 16-millimeter, and anybody that knows me would know it’s a pseudo-documentary. But it appears to be a documentary about a man obsessed with holes. And it’s, I hope, funny and I hope intelligent and obviously well enough to have won several prizes, and got branded and shown a lot. By the time that happened, I was totally sucked into making – working with glass.” Continue reading

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Regional art museum changes name to indicate new focus on glass art

The new Bergstrom-Mahler logo

The new Bergstrom-Mahler logo

In a return to its roots as an institution with a focus on glass, The Bergstom-Mahler Museum in Neenah, Wisconsin, has changed its name to the “Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass.” Effective this past Sunday, September 15, 2013, the name change can be seen as a return to the institution’s roots. The museum was founded in 1959 to house the donated paperweight collection of one of its founders, Evangeline Bergstrom, as well as the historic Germanic glass collection of its other founders, Ernst and Carol Mahler. “The name change is an outward sign of how the museum has evolved since its beginning more than 50 years ago,” the museum’s executive director Jan Mirenda Smith told the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet in a telephone interview. The museum’s rich history and 3,500-object glass collection has played an increasingly important role in the museum’s vision. In the past, the museum shifted to a focus on local contemporary art of a variety of mediums, but by 2011, when the museum’s board of directors indicated that a return to glass-oriented exhibitions would be more aligned with the museum’s resources and programming. Continue reading

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OPENING: Michigan sculpture park exhibits the diversity of contemporary glass art

Beverly Fishman, Artificial Paradise, 2013.

Beverly Fishman, Artificial Paradise, 2013. Handblown glass. Dimensions variable.

The Grand Rapids, Michigan,  botanical garden known as Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park will display the works of 25 artists from North America, Europe, and Asia in its upcoming group exhibition, “Shattered: Contemporary Sculpture in Glass,” which opens September 18th. The exhibit’s primary focus is the creative, conceptual, and formal aspects of contemporary glass sculpture from around the world, and it includes a line-up of some of the most interesting work being made in the material by artists such as Michael Behrens, Peter Bremers, Beverly Fishman (pictured above), Jiyong Lee, Beth Lipman, Mary Shaffer, and Anna Skibska.
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Influential critic who expanded the definition of craft appointed director of New York’s Museum of Arts and Design

Incoming Museum of Arts and Design Director Glenn Adamson

Incoming Museum of Arts and Design Director Glenn Adamson

The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) has announced that Glenn Adamson, the head of research at the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), will take over the New York institution in October, succeeding the outgoing Holly Hotchner. Adamson has achieved an international profile for his books and lectures, in which he has turned the knee-jerk marginalization of craft by many art critics on its head by exploring what he sees as a false dichotomy. Expanding on his analysis in Thinking Through Craft (2007, Bloomsbury), Adamson’s most recent book, The Invention of Craft (2013, Bloomsbury), traces the artificial separation of craft to the Arts and Crafts Movement’s founding in the Industrial Revolution, when the desire to preserve hand skills was seen as anti-progress, and eventually, defined as an obstacle to Modernism. Continue reading

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