Thursday August 6, 2015 | by Susanne Frantz

In Memoriam: Yoriko Mizuta (1956 – 2015)

FILED UNDER: In Memoriam, Museums, News

The glass world lost an exceptional scholar and advocate with the passing of Yoriko Mizuta who succumbed to cancer on August 3, 2015. She was 59 years old. As a long-time curator at the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art in Sapporo, Mrs. Mizuta was a key organizer of the triennial series of exhibitions “World Glass Now” which ran from 1982 to 1994. Those international overviews helped garner early attention to the contemporary glass art of Japan. Instead of indefinitely continuing those broad surveys, in 1997 she partnered with the Kunstmuseum Dusseldorf and The Corning Museum of Glass to present 20 artists from nine countries in an exhibition entitled “The Glass Skin.” The premise was to focus on glass as a literal and metaphorical surface, barrier, and crossing point. In addition to exploring the skin theme the show’s three co-curators hoped to encourage more exhibitions united first and foremost by an idea rather than simply a common material.

In 2003 Mrs. Mizuta curated “Outspoken Glass” which took a similarly defined approach to recent Japanese work and resonated profoundly in that country. Her interests were not limited to the modern and she was equally productive in the areas of European Art Nouveau and Czech glass, as well other forms of Japanese art. Exhibitions she organized toured nationally and her publications were extensive.

Those who were fortunate to know her learned quickly that Mrs. Mizuta’s soft-spoken countenance and nuanced interpretations were balanced by devotion to high standards, original research, and meticulous detail. Through her exhibitions, writings, and teaching she added immeasurably to the development and documentation of glass history. Her friends and colleagues mourn the passing of Yoriko Mizuta and celebrate her many contributions to the field.

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.