Archive for September 1st, 2011

The End of an Era

 After a storied history that spanned the last century as the great American maker of fine crystal, Steuben is closing down later this year.  They produced their extraordinary work in Corning since the beginning of the company in 1903.

I remember watching the engravers at work several times during visits to the museum which had sections where you could see them through glass panels.  They had rows of engraving tips on their workstation and beautiful drawings that worked from in creating pieces such as the spectacular one above.  It’s hard to believe that the fabled brand will end.

Goergia O'Keeffe in Steuben Crystal

One of their great groups of glass was the one that they produced in the late 30’s for a 1940 exhibit at their Manhattan showroom.  Called  Twenty-Seven Contemporary Artists, they took designs from 27 artists and translated them into glass.  The artists included Matisse, Georgia O’Keeffe, Dali, Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, Leger, Dufy, De Chirico among many others. 

It’s a sad time to see such beautiful work come to an end.  I know it has certainly influenced what I look for in my own work and how I approach it.  Their designs are usually clean and crisp with strong imagery and the lines of the crystal are always just right and graceful.  All you could ask for…

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