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Thursday January 23, 2020 | by Pamela Koss

IN MEMORIAM: Francesco “Checco” Ongaro (1929 - 2020)

Maestro Checco Ongaro, who passed away this week in Murano, was among the first Muranese glassblowers willing to work with American artists. Born in Murano in 1929, Ongaro was the eldest son in a family of seven children. A strong and compassionate man, he married his wife Rina Dalla Valentina and raised his family there, living his life on the island known for glass. He worked a nearly 40 years at Venini, the famed design glass factory, and in many ways his career following the path of a traditional Muranese worker’s life. He learned his craft well moving up through the ranks on the hot shop floor, and became one of the youngest maestros at Venini working with a team to produce for the factory. But there was one key difference that would have a major impact on the arc of American glass art.

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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.