A Closer Look at Glass Art in America
Though glass is tied to ancient traditions found in Europe, it is a relatively young art form in the United States. Just over 50 years ago American factory facilities were producing glass works, but the concept of “glass art” had not yet come into existence in America. It took glass pioneer and University of Wisconsin ceramics professor Harvey Littleton’s launch of the first glass program in 1962 to bring the idea of studio glass in the United States to fruition.
Since those beginnings, interest and experimentation with glass art has flourished. Organizations like the Pilchuck Glass School and the Glass Art Society in the Pacific Northwest, Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, and The Corning Museum of Glass in upstate New York became pillars in the glass art community, making their regions central to the studio movement in the United States.
Here in Seattle you don’t have to go far to run into an opportunity to watch glass being blown, experience it in a gallery or museum exhibition or take a glass blowing class yourself. Due in part to the influence of Dale Chihuly and his founding of Pilchuck Glass School, the Pacific Northwest is a leading region for glass. That got us thinking, have the prominent regions for glass in America changed throughout recent years? We couldn’t find any current, relevant data around the state of glass in America, so we decided to take matters into our own hands.
We partnered with the Glass Art Society to conduct a comprehensive study to gauge public interest in glass art, explore the activity taking place in different regions renowned for glass art, and provide a benchmark by which to measure future growth and trends in the industry. Check out the results, along with interviews from those in the glass community, at landscapeofglass.com