Last Updated: Oct 02, 2018     Views: 1072

Image: Vase. Nancy Freeman (American, b. 1949), Artist. CMoG 2016.4.18. Gift of Elmerina and Paul Parkman.

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Biographical Information

Nancy Freeman was a glassblower based in Ashokan in the Catskill Mountains of New York. Freeman earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 1973. She then became apprenticed to glassblower Henry Summa and attended the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina in 1974.

Freeman's work has been exhibited in many shows and is part of several museum and private collections. Vice President Mondale's wife Joan Mondale chose Freeman's stemware for the permanent collection of the US Vice-Presidential Residence in the late 1970s. (See Sarah Booth Conroy, "An American Setting," Washington Post, September 30, 1979.)

Freeman ran her own studio into the late 1980s.

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Additional Resources

Below are a few additional articles that discuss Nancy Freeman, though most are in association with the stemware she made for Jean Mondale.

  • "Craftsmen Set the V.P. Table." Gifts & Decorative Accessories 80, no 12 (December 1979): 128, 296.
  • Articles from (you might be able to access these via your local library, by visiting the Rakow Research Library at The Corning Museum of Glass, or through a personal subscription to

Sun, May 22, 1977 – Page 45 · The Kingston Daily Freeman (Kingston, New York) · World Collection

Sun, May 22, 1977 – Page 71 · The Bridgeport Post (Bridgeport, Connecticut) · World Collection

Sun, Oct 16, 1977 – Page 94 · The Bridgeport Post (Bridgeport, Connecticut) · World Collection

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Comments (2)

  1. Nancy Freeman made wonderfully executed drawn-feather type blown glasswork....i have 3 pieces that are exceptional-2 vases than surpass many contemporaries, and one perfume bottle I got thinking it to be a Brent Kee Young (that's a huge compliment in itself!!)
    She currently resides in D.C.< before that FL, and she is very involved in pastels, after a huge career in digital photo, conventional photo, etc. etc. She never stops moving, and masters all the media she undertakes.
    As a correction, she worked in Ashokan, NY,...with Henry Summa, not Summs....and his later work is exceptional also in blown glass.....
    by ralph johnson on Oct 22, 2017
  2. I worked for Nancy Freeman from 1982 to 1987. I was her glass finisher and did shipping and billing as well. In 1989 my partner and I built our own studio, Hot Stuff Blown Glass in Chichester, N.Y. , and blew glass until 2005. Nancy's work was beautiful. She melted her own colors and had amazing control over her material. I also went to Penland School of Crafts in N.C., but what I learned from her and all her apprentices was the respect and commitment toward our work. All at 2000 degree Fahrenheit.
    by Mary Certoma on Jan 13, 2018

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