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Past Exhibitions

Harvey K. Littleton: The Father of American Studio Glass

June 7–October 7, 2012


'Sympathy' by Harvey K. Littleton

Harvey K. Littleton
American, born 1922
Sympathy, 1978
Barium/potash glass with cased double overlays
of Kugler colors drawn and cut on a lead optic base
Gift of the artist

This installation celebrates Harvey K. Littleton, whose ideas, innovation, and artistry led him to found the American Studio Glass movement.

Fifty years ago Littleton, along with glass scientist Dominick Labino, led two seminal glassblowing seminar-workshops for studio artists at the Toledo Museum of Art. His aim was to move the manufacture of glass from its industrial setting and place it within the artist’s studio. That same year, he launched the first studio hot glass program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Littleton, along with several of his students, including Dale Chihuly, Fritz Dreisbach, Marvin Lipofsky, and Michael Taylor, went on to spread the study of glass art throughout the United States and around the world.

Born in 1922 in Corning, New York, Littleton grew up near the Corning Glass Works, where his father served as vice president and director of research. Harvey chose a career in art, first gaining recognition as a ceramist and later as a glassblower and glass sculptor.

Littleton’s work plays on form, color, transparency, and the range of possibilities found in the medium of glass. His tireless efforts to use glass as a means for creative and experimental expression produced a rich legacy.

Organization and Support

This exhibition is supported by the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass.