Hello! Thank you for your question! According to "The American Studio Glass Movement," posted on All About Glass (October 5, 2011) on The Corning Museum of Glass website, "The catalyst for the development of studio glass in the United States was Harvey K. Littleton, a teaching ceramist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, who became inspired by the pioneering work in ceramics of the California potter Peter Voulkos. Informed by his own background in the material, Littleton started experimenting with hot glass in his studio in 1958."
If Littleton's experiments in glass were the catalyst for the studio glass movement, it was the workshops led by Littleton and Dominick Labino at the Toledo Museum of Art in 1962 that are generally recognized as its beginning. There, Littleton, with Labino's assistance, "introduced the idea that glass could be blown and worked by an artist in a studio, outside the glass industry" ("Founders of American Studio Glass: Dominick Labino," October 21, 2011).
You can read more about Littleton in "Harvey K. Littleton and the American Studio Glass Movement," posted on All About Glass (October 18, 2011). This article includes links to a number of objects created by Littleton that were featured during the Founders in American Studio Glass exhibition at The Corning Museum of Glass (2011-2013).
The Museum's website is a rich source of information on American studio glass. Several posts detail the Museum's collections and include images and links to additional resources. For instance, see
"There at the Beginning: Early Studio Glass from the Parkman Collection" (March 24, 2017)
"Harvey K. Littleton (American, 1922–2013)" (December 18, 2013)
You can also view images of some of the pieces held in The Corning Museum of Glass collection by important artists of the American studio glass movement:
Harvey K. Littleton
Joel Philip Myers and Steven I. Weinberg
You can view thousands of photographs capturing people, events, and aspects of the studio glass movement in the Marvin Lipofsky photograph collection, which is held by the Rakow Research Library at the Museum and has been made available online.
You might also like to check out "The Chronology and Bibliography of Studio Glass" by William Warmus and Beth Hylen. Though it has not been updated since 2003, it provides important dates and resources about the studio glass movement. It also includes resources to help you learn about more than two dozen contemporary studio artists.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the studio glass movement, the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG) sponsored two panels at SOFA Chicago in 2012 on "Pioneers of Contemporary American Studio Glass," featuring artists Joel Philip Myers, Toots Zynsky, Marvin Lipofsky, Mark Peiser, and others. Recordings of these panels are available to view on YouTube.
In addition to the online resources linked to above, the Library has books, articles, videos and archival collections that can help you learn more about the studio glass movement in the United States. A few of these are listed below, with links to their corresponding records in the Library catalog.
Zynsky, Toots. “Women Who Helped Pave the Way.” The Glass Art Society Journal (2012): 52+.
If you wish to borrow copies of library items, please contact your local library. The Rakow Research Library will lend designated books from its collection and will send copies of articles requested by other libraries. Your library can request items through the OCLC WorldShare Interlibrary Loan (ILL) system or by direct request through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please see our ILL policies and procedures.
Please don't hesitate to contact us with glass-related questions in the future!
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