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American glass company founded in 1902 in Maspeth, Queens (New York) by five partners, led by Nicholas Bach (1862–1921), an Alsatian glass chemist who had previously worked for Tiffany. The company is named after a colourful Central American bird. The factory produced domestic iridescent glass (lampshades, vases, candlesticks) in an Art Nouveau style, often shaped like flowers, and also produced wares in historical styles. The factory closed in ...


Kyla Mackenzie

(b Auckland, April 4, 1944).

New Zealand glass artist. She gained a Diploma in Fine Arts from Auckland University in 1980. Robinson pioneered cast-glass art in New Zealand when there was little support or education for glass artists. She belonged to the international development known as studio glass, in which glasswork is made in a small studio rather than a factory environment. In 1981 Robinson joined Sunbeam Glassworks, a glass-blowing studio in Auckland, where she worked alongside fellow glass pioneers Garry Nash and John Croucher until 1989.

The isolation of glass practice as an artistic field generally, particularly in New Zealand, along with lack of funding, meant that Robinson’s earliest work was arrived at through experimentation and often costly failure. In 1989, she established her own studio in Karekare on Auckland’s bush clad west coast. She had, by then, adopted the lost-wax technique for glass casting, a skill she had learnt from bronze-casting.

Vessels and their open-ended metaphors and references to Oceanic, Japanese, and ancient ritual have characterized much of her oeuvre (e.g. ...


Gordon Campbell

French glass manufactory. In 1693 Louis XIV (reg 1643–1715) and his minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert established the Manufacture Royale des Grandes Glaces at Saint-Gobain (Picardy). The company’s large plate-glass mirrors quickly displaced the smaller blown-glass mirrors of Venice in European markets, and within France enjoyed a monopoly until the Revolution. Thereafter it opened a depot in New York (...


Michael Tucker and Gordon Campbell

(b Helsinki, Oct 31, 1926; d Helsinki, Oct 6, 2006).

Finnish designer . He is best known for his work in glass at Iittala glasshouse, which he joined in 1950. At his hands distinctions between pure and applied art gradually became less and less meaningful: the glass vases he created in the 1950s exhibited clear sculptural qualities long before he decided (in ...


Mercedes Daguerre

(b Venice, June 2, 1906; d Tokyo, Nov 27, 1978).

Italian architect and designer. He graduated in architectural design at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice (1926), having previously worked for the architect Vincenzo Rinaldi. He began his teaching career at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice in 1926, holding various posts there throughout his life. His practice was in Venice from 1927 to 1962. From 1927 to 1930 he worked as an artistic consultant to the glassmakers Murano Cappellini. In these early years he concentrated on drawing and painting and experiments with glass, which resulted in windows for the Venini company of Murano, for whom he also became an artistic consultant (1933–47). The restoration of the Ca’ Fóscari (1936–7), part of the University of Venice, was the first significant work in his own right and already shows the happy acceptance of historical artefacts in design and the skill to complement it with episodic, intensely personal interventions. Scarpa was set apart from the polemic of the period by his philosophy, which ranged from occasional ironic counterpoint to diffuse over-seriousness, with a mastery of materials and an emphatic delight in discontinuity....


Gordon Campbell

(b Alsdorf, 1924).

German stained glass designer. His monumental installations eschew pictorial art in favour of decorative lines. His work in Aachen includes the colourless glass windows in the cloister of the cathedral. He later designed the window wall (1982) installed in the Shinkansen railway station in Omiya, Japan, which, unlike his monochromatic early work, is brightly coloured....


Gordon Campbell

(b Chateau-Thierry, Feb 23, 1881; d 1953).

French glassmaker . He was trained in the workshops of Emile Gallé and Daum, and in 1908 entered into a partnership with his brother Ernest (d 1937) to open a glass factory in Epinay-sur-Seine; Charles assumed responsibility for artistic direction and Ernest for administration. The factory initially made cameo vases and lamps, but when it reopened after World War I restricted production to commercial glassware, mostly for hospitals. The brothers sold shares to finance their return to the art glass market, and so became the Societé Anonyme des Verreries Schneider; their new ranges of art glass were sufficiently successful for the brothers to buy back the shares, whereupon the company became Verrerie Schneider. The most important products of this period were the cameo glass pieces (vases, bowls and lamps) marketed as Le Verre Français, a line of 2- or 3-layered cameo glass (vases, bowls and lamps) in both Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles; this glass, which was introduced in ...


Mary Chou

(b Highland Park, NJ, April 16, 1940).

American painter . In 1962 Snyder earned a BA in sociology from Douglass College in New Brunswick, NJ. From 1964 to 1966 she attended Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, where she graduated with an MFA. Snyder is well known for her highly expressive, tactile paintings filled with narrative, symbolism and politics.

In the early 1970s Snyder gained fame for her stroke paintings, in which bold brushstrokes in vivid colours traverse the width of the canvas, leaving pools and drips of paint in their path. Applied over a grid loosely sketched with pencil on canvas, these gestural marks both enforce and obscure the geometry and orderly containment of the grid (e.g. Lines and Strokes , 1969; artist’s col.). In contrast to Minimalism and colour field paintings, Snyder’s vibrant, energetic and expressive strokes seem to tell a story. Music has always been an integral part of her artistic process, as evidenced in such early works as ...


Ferenc Batári

(b Liptószentmiklós, Hungary [now Liptovský Mikuláš, Slovakia], Dec 26, 1858; d Sepsibükszád, Transylvania [now Romania], Feb 23, 1944).

Hungarian glass artist. In 1881 he was employed in the Zayugrócz (now Uhrovec, Slovakia) Glassworks, in upper Hungary, where he was director of the glass-painting studio. He later worked in the Ujantalvölgy Glassworks. During this period he gained recognition for acid-etched pieces. From 1907 to 1914 he leased the Sepsibükszád Glassworks. He produced ornamental pieces in the Art Nouveau style, with acid-etched decoration of plants and animals. His pieces were built up of thin layers of different colours, resulting in fine pastel shades; the outer layer was left in a natural matt finish. Sovánka was awarded a gold medal at the World’s Fair in St Louis in 1904 and at the Esposizione Internazionale del Sempione in Milan in 1906.

I. Katona: ‘Sovánka és a Magyar üveg a szazadfordulón’ [Sovánka and Hungarian glass at the turn of the century], Művészettörténeti Értesitő, 29/3–4 (1980), pp. 237–48

Hungary, §VII: Glass

Slovakia, §V: Decorative arts...


Gordon Campbell

(b 1882; d 1942).

Italian glass designer. He worked for Barovier before becoming an independent designer of Art Deco glass. In 1927 his workshop was absorbed into the Studio Ars Labor Industrie Riunite , and Stella became the founding director. In 1930 he left to become head of the Academy of Applied Art at Villa Reale in Monza. He also continued to work in Venice, where his principal collaborator was the Bohemian Franz Pelzel (...


Ellen Paul Denker

American glass manufactory in Corning, NY, named after the county in which it is located. In 1903 the Steuben Glass Works were incorporated by T. G. Hawkes (1846–1913), his son Samuel Hawkes (d 1959), a cousin Townsend Hawkes and Frederick Carder, who in 1903 accepted Hawkes’s offer to join the firm. The works originally supplied blanks for cutting to T. G. Hawkes & Co., but later a great variety of decorative effects were produced at Steuben under Carder. ‘Aurene’, trademarked in 1904, was the most popular effect; this lustred surface was made by spraying the glass at-the-fire in blue, gold or in combination, with coloured bases on which a feathered effect was sometimes drawn. Jade glass, which has the appearance of jade stone, was produced in rose, white, blue, green, amethyst and two shades of yellow. Many different colours of transparent glass were made in a single hue or with shaded effects. In ...


Gordon Campbell

(b Trendelburg, May 12, 1920).

German glass painter. After military service and imprisonment by the British in Egypt, he trained in Stuttgart as a glass painter and mosaicist. Thereafter he specialized in architectural stained glass. His glass, which is usually figurative and narratorial, has been installed in more than 100 churches around the world and in secular buildings (e.g. the library extension of Pembroke College, Cambridge, ...



Italian glass studio founded in Venice in 1923 by Decio Toso and three decorators (Guglielmo Barbini, Giuseppe D’Alpaos and Gino Francesconi) from the grinding shop of the Cristalleria Franchetti. The founding director was Guido Balsamo Stella ; the principal designer was the Bohemian Franz Pelzel, who worked for SALIR until 1968...


Petr Wittlich

(b Kroměříž, Sept 17, 1873; d Prague, Feb 10, 1962).

Czech painter, draughtsman, engraver, stained-glass designer, mosaicist and teacher. From 1891 to 1896 he studied under Maximilián Pirner at the Academy of Fine Art (Akademie Výtvarných Umění) in Prague, where he distinguished himself so brilliantly that he was given a studio for a further two years. From 1891 he was a member of the Mánes Union of Artists. His work was inspired by fin-de-siècle Symbolism and French Intimisme, as well as the art of the Pre-Raphaelites (e.g. Fusion of Souls, 1896; Prague, N.G., Valdštejn Riding Sch.). In 1896, inspired by the work of Puvis de Chavannes, he painted his first fresco (in situ) in the entrance hall of the Provincial Bank (Zemská banka) on Na příkopě, Prague. He studied in Paris in 1898–9 and won a diplôme d’honneur at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900 for his Round Portrait (1897; Prague, N.G., Valdštejn Riding Sch.). Švabinský was a distinguished portrait painter and had as his sitters a large number of his fellow countrymen who were famous figures from the worlds of art, literature and music (e.g. ...


Austrian glass manufacturers. The Company was founded in 1895 by Daniel Swarovski (b Georgenthal (now Jiřikovo Údolí, Czech Republic) 1862; d Wattens, 23 Jan 1956). In 1895 he left Bohemia for the Austrian Tyrol, where he established a factory in Wattens for the industrial manufacturing of cut crystal stones; from 1917 these stones were marketed as ‘Tyrolit’, which is now the name of the company’s industrial division. The company developed lines of optical instruments (now Swarovski Optik) and decorative glass (including jewellery and chandeliers). The company now makes 20 billion cut crystals every year. For the general public, its best known products are its menagerie of crystal animals, which are sold in airports worldwide. At the top of the market, its haute couture accessories and art glass have been created by designers such as Hervé Léger, Alessandro Mendini, Stefano Ricci and Ettore Sottsass. The Swarovski Collectors Society (SCS), founded in ...


John Steen

(b The Hague, June 6, 1868; d Cologne, March 5, 1932).

Dutch painter, printmaker, mosaicist and stained-glass artist. He attended the Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten in The Hague (1881–8). During this period he painted mainly landscapes in the style of The Hague school. Until c. 1896 he produced Symbolist works, in which the emphatic line flow and the subtle colour shading are especially noticeable, for example The Bride (1893; Otterlo, Kröller-Müller). From 1892 until 1897 he corresponded with Henri Borel, partly about his Symbolist work, often drawing in the letters. During this time he came into close contact with Belgian artists, in particular with Henry Van de Velde through whom he was able to exhibit with Les XX in Brussels. In summer he regularly stayed in Visé, where he produced pastel drawings in a rhythmic pointillism, a style with which he could achieve a form of abstraction.

From 1896 Thorn Prikker concentrated on the applied arts, designing batiks, stained glass, murals, mosaics, furniture and bindings. In ...


Gerhard Graulich

(b Fribourg, May 22, 1925; d Berne, Aug 30, 1991).

Swiss sculptor. He began experimenting with mechanical sculptures in the late 1930s, hanging objects from the ceiling and using a motor to make them rotate. In 1940 he began an apprenticeship as a window-dresser and also attended art classes at the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule, Basle. From 1941 to 1945 he studied there with Julia Ris (b 1904) and discovered the work of Kurt Schwitters, which made a deep impression on him. After World War II he began painting in a Surrealist manner, but he soon abandoned painting to concentrate on sculpture. In 1949 he met Daniel Spoerri. In 1953 they created the ‘Autothéâtre’, a ballet of colours and movable décor, made up of coloured forms in motion. Here there was no difference between actor and spectator, and actions were performed on stage without the participation of actors, the spectator being the same as an actor, much like the later Happening. The same year Tinguely moved to Paris. There he produced his first abstract spatial constructions, which were gradually equipped with moving mechanisms that could be set in motion by the viewer. These early machines, which Tinguely called ‘meta-mechanical’ devices (e.g. ...



Gjergj Frashëri

Capital city of Albania and centre of production for furniture, glass, wood-carving and ceramics. The ‘Misto Mame’ Woodwork Combine was initially established in 1947 as a small workshop for furniture production. By 1951 it had changed its name to Ndërmarrja e Përpunimit të Drurit ‘Misto Mame’ (‘Misto Mame’ woodworking enterprise) and had greatly increased in size. In 1973 the combine adopted its present name and opened a group of factories. The most important sector within the combine is the furniture production unit, which produces complete suites of bedroom furniture, bookcases, sideboards, tables etc. The majority of products have matt or semi-matt veneer finishes of beech, maple, walnut, poplar, elm and cherry. The Milde Furniture Factory produces armchairs, sofas and wall panelling for domestic interiors and public buildings. Many of the products are covered with textiles such as damask, produced locally. The Factory of Furniture for Institutions produces one-off, usually commissioned, pieces of furniture and decorative items. The Department of Parquet Tiles produces flooring for many different interiors. The combine has its own Technological Bureau and collaborates with such institutes of interior design as the Institute of Building Project Studies and Designs No.1 and the Bureau of Wood Project Studies and Design in Tiranë. Some of the combine’s production is exported....


Pawel Banaś

(b Siedlce, March 1, 1906; d July 19, 1993).

Polish glass artist. Between 1926 and 1930 he attended the Municipal School of Decorative Art and Painting in Warsaw and between 1930 and 1936 studied in the sculpture studio of Tadeusz Breyer (1874–1952) and the painting studio of Tadeusz Pruszkowski (1888–1942) at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. Between 1946 and 1950 he worked at Jozefina glassworks in Lower Silesia, during which period he designed both decorative and useful wares, mainly epergnes and thick-walled crystal vases decorated with spherical ornament in the form of circular and oval flutes as well as wavy and oblique lines. In 1950 he started working as a freelance glass artist using only hand-formed glass. In 1963 he settled permanently in Warsaw, working at glassworks in the suburbs of Warsaw, for example Wołomin, Falenica and Ożarów. Initially, Tomaszewski produced very large vases ruffled with large air bubbles and streaks and slender, thin-walled vases with extremely flared rims or long S-shaped necks. Later, he clearly preferred semi-abstract sculptural work in the form of obelisks with slender points, occasionally surmounted with openwork loops, and oval globes filled with fused sheaves of glass rods or with deep, irregular channels of air. All his work was produced from apparently plain, poor-quality glass with a colour spectrum limited to green, bronze and azure hues. He devised a number of original technical solutions based on extensive knowledge of the inherent characteristics of glass. He produced only one example of each design, although certain themes were explored in dozens of variants. Musical inspiration played an important role in his work, and he frequently emphasized the interrelationship between art and music through the titles of his compositions, for example ...


Deborah Cullen


(b Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, 1960).

Puerto Rican sculptor, active in the USA. Torres created plaster and fiberglass casts from life, depicting people in their communities. These include portrait busts, figurative tableaux, freestanding figures, and major outdoor murals. Torres worked both independently and in collaboration with John Ahearn (b 1951), with whom he regularly partnered from 1980.

When Torres was 4, his family moved to upper Manhattan and then to the Bronx. Torres began his art practice in 1979 at age 18 while working in a family factory casting religious statues. He visited Fashion Moda, an alternative space in the South Bronx. There, he met John Ahearn, who was making plaster body casts of neighborhood people. Torres became one of Ahearn’s subjects, and Torres’s first heads were cast there and exhibited alongside Ahearn’s. Torres convinced Ahearn to move to Walton Avenue in 1980, where they worked closely with the community. That year they participated in the historic Times Square Show. Between ...