Makoto Ito Portrait

Portrait of Makoto Ito

Tuesday July 23, 2024 | by Sahana Ramakrishnan

IN MEMORIAM: Makoto Ito (1955- 2024) who launched the first university glass program in Japan and championed the material of glass

Makoto Ito, a central figure in Japan's studio glass movement and glass art education in the country, passed away on June 4, 2024, at the age of 84. Ito started as a painter, graduating from the painting department of Tama Art University. However, after a six-year stint as a glassblower at the Kagami Crystal factory, he decided to pursue glass art after seeing a European glass exhibition. Dedicated to advancing the material at home, Ito helped build the foundations for the studio glass movement in Japan.

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Saturday July 6, 2024 | by Andrew Page

SEEN: Two glass exhibitions of note near Cape Cod are drawing new interest to the medium in an area that once had a thriving glass industry

Museums of glass are often located near industrial glass concerns because such firms are often the founders. Toledo Museum of Art has enjoyed the support of Edward Drummond Libbey, or his namesake glass company, Libbey, Inc., since its founding. The Corning Museum of Glass, which opened in 1951 in a building known as the Corning Glass Center where glass technology was showcased and viewers could watch Steuben artisans at work, has enjoyed the patronage of Corning, Inc. ever since. But the Sandwich Glass Museum in Sandwich, Massachusetts, never enjoyed a direct financial link to the Boston and Sandwich Glassworks, one of the first pressed-glass factories, and a major glass producer in the 19th century. While the local glassworks closed in 1888, years before the museum's 1907 founding as the Sandwich Historical Society. The Sandwich Glass Museum grew out of local efforts to preserve the history of the company in this Cape Cod town, and it now offers galleries of historic decorative glass from the Boston and Sandwich Glassworks, as well as a working hotshop, where demos are presented. In addition, there are exhibitions that focus on contemporary glass, connecting the past and the future.

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The exterior of the National Glass Centre, as viewed from the towpath along the waterfront in 2023. photo: jo howell

Thursday June 20, 2024 | by Emma Park

SPECIAL REPORT: The Battle to Save the National Glass Centre

In 2024, British glass is in a state of profound crisis. Budget cuts are eviscerating programs at arts institutions around the country, which have been battered by post-Brexit inflation and export/import tariffs, the Covid pandemic, and the loss of E.U. arts funding. As the Art Newspaperput it in a July 2023 special report sparked by the closure of the major British art fair "Masterpiece," being one of the most expensive of the arts to operate and one of the least widely understood, has been particularly vulnerable to overzealous administrators in a time of national belt-tightening and a policy shift towards prioritizing STEM subjects.

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Thursday May 30, 2024 | by Andrew Page

The Peabody-Essex Museum celebrates the debut of its Carl and Betty Pforzheimer Collection with special celebration this evening

The Peabody-Essex Museum, known by its initials "PEM", is one of the top ten art museums in the U.S. in terms of exhibition space, budget, and endowment. The Salem, Massachusetts, institution boasts one of the most important Asian art collections in the country, and its campus extends across more than 22 historic buildings. While the museum has continuously displayed a cut-glass English chandelier in one of its oldest galleries since 1804, and was gifted two dozen contemporary glass works in 2015, it had not boasted a major glass-art collection until Carl and Betty Pforzheimer announced their gift of over 260 works in 2022. This evening, in celebration of the installation of 46 of the works from the collection into the newly christened Pforzheimer Gallery, a crowd of 250 invited guests will lift a glass to honor the significance of the donation. PEM curator-at-large Sarah Chasse spoke with the Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet about what the collection will mean for one of the oldest art museums in America.

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Thursday May 23, 2024 | by Andrew Page

HOT OFF THE PRESSES: The Summer 2024 edition of Glass (#175)

The Summer 2024 edition of Glass: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly (#175) is hitting newsstands and subscriber mailboxes. On the cover is an unusual banquet table installed by brothers Jamex and Einar de la Torre, lifelong cultural travelers between Mexico and Southern California who collaborate in a multimedia art practice where glass plays a starring role. Their critique of conspicuous consumption is notable for its grotesque imagery, and of course, the overfilled banquet table is not a new concept in the glass art world. In her haunting and elegant monochromatic table installations, Beth Lipman pioneered this concept over two decades ago, as exemplified by her 2003 Bancketje (Banquet) installation in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington. What Jamex and Einar do differently is to layer upon layer imagery, materials, and ideas. The result is a kind of visual overload that mimics the intensity of information contemporary life overwhelms with. And with the addition of taxidermy and gory details rendered in garish cartoon imagery, we are invited to contemplate our own attraction and revulsion at the concentration of wealth on display.

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Laura de Santillana, Space II, 2002. Hand-blown, shaped, and compressed glass, metal leaf. H 17, W 14 5/8, D 1 3/8 in. photo: enrico fiorese

Wednesday May 15, 2024 | by Andrew Page

OPENING: Laura de Santillana's glass homage to Japanese aesthetics will debut this evening in New York

This evening, the poetic and sensitive expressions in glass of the late Laura de Santillana (1955 - 2019) will inhabit the third-floor exhibition space at New York's Ippodo Gallery, where an exhibition of 25 of her works titled "Echoes of Her Gaze, Impressions of Tokyo and Kyoto in Glass," opens this evening. The assembled artwork was inspired by de Santillana's experience of Japan, where the contrasting influences of the intensity of Tokyo’s neon lights on the one hand, and the meditative aura of Kyoto’s aesthetics, inspired the artist's responses in sculpture. Aspects of Japanese culture such as the unique cinematography of director Yasujiro Ozu, or the dedication to craftsmanship in all aspects of the built environment are also explored in de Santillana's glass structures that are both translucent and opaque.

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Petr Novotný pictured at the bench of his Novy Bor workshop.

Saturday May 4, 2024 | by Andrew Page

IN MEMORIAM: Petr Novotný (1952 - 2024), an ambassador, glass virtuoso, and innovator who helped sustain the historic glassmaking culture of Nov​ý Bor, dies at 72

Petr Novotný, the owner of the Nový Bor glassworks, museum, and tool-making company, known as Novotný Glass, died on Friday, May 3rd, after a long illness. Renown as one of the most technically skilled glass masters from this Northern Bohemian town where glassmaking can be traced back to the 14th century, Novotný was a regular presence at international glass gatherings since the 1980s, and a force who single-handedly helped to sustain and advance the field in the centuries old glassmaking town just over an hour's drive north of Prague.

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Monday April 29, 2024 | by Andrew Page

Amidst a wave of New York gallery closures, Douglas Heller will turn the lights off for good at his Tenth Avenue exhibition space to focus on online sales and art fairs

On the last day of May 2024, soon after the close of the Matthew Day Perez solo show "Accumulation" now on view, the lights will go off at the 10th Avenue gallery space that has been home to Heller Gallery since 2013. Doug Heller, who, over the past half-century has moved Heller Gallery from its origins on the Upper East Side to Soho, the Meat Packing District, and Chelsea, says the time has come to go virtual. Though the gallery's year-round exhibition space will close, he plans to continue representing artists through appearances at art fairs, online sales, private viewings, and pop-up exhibitions.

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John Luebtow, Hung Out to Dry

Tuesday April 23, 2024 | by Kinshasa Peterson

John Luebtow and Stephen Edwards return to Los Angeles for an exhibition and discussion at the Craft in America Center

The Craft in America Center in Los Angeles, which is exhibiting a dual-artist exhibit entitled "Between the LInes" through May 25, will host a conversation with the artists John Luebtow and Stephen Edwards on Saturday, April 27 from 3 PM to 4 PM PST. Both in-person and streamed on Zoom and Facebook Live, the talk will bring together two prolific creators who shaped a legacy of glassmaking in Southern California, and who are regarded nationwide as influential educators and artists. Moderated by Craft in America curator Emily Zaiden, the discussion will provide perspective on the major retrospective of their work now on view at the museum.

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Glass: The UrbanGlass Quarterly, a glossy art magazine published four times a year by UrbanGlass has provided a critical context to the most important artwork being done in the medium of glass for more than 40 years.