Heart of Glass - Blenko Glass

Blenko Glass is a West Virginia treasure that spans generations. Nothing symbolizes the state of West Virginia better or more beautifully than Blenko Glass. We will discuss current and former craftsmen and designers and how important it is that Blenko and West Virginia glass be appreciated and valued by the younger generation.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Marvin Liposfsky . Blenko Glass.

Can you tell me about the link between Marvin Liposky and Blenko?  I attended a Glass Group here in Greensboro and the Gentleman said Liposky and other Glass Giants visited Blenko and other Glass factories in the 70s.  I can find no information about these collaborations.
Was there glass made for sale?  If so where do I find these items?    John G.

John,   Your lecturer was correct.  Joel Myers ( Blenko Designer)  was instrumental in inviting other glass artist to  experience working with factory glass.  These men later became the foundation of the early Glass Arts Movement.  Marvin L.,  Henry Littleton,  Fritz D.  and several other glass artist/ teachers visited factories in W.Va.  Marvin L. would go on to found the GAS.
RE: Items made,  I have seen several, none for sale.   May I suggest you contact the W.Va. Museum of  American Glass  230 Main Street,  Weston, WVa.   phone 304269 5006.
We met Marvin for the first time in 2009 ( Pittsburgh GAS conference).  He had fond memories of Blenko and the 'Wonderful" people of West Virginia. 

In Memoriam   ( Taken from Marvin Liposfsky website)      

September 1, 1938 — January 15, 2016

Marvin Lipofsky in 2003 Marvin Lipofsky, 77, renowned San Francisco Bay Area teacher and sculptor who worked with glass, died of natural causes on Friday, January 15, 2016. Mr. Lipofsky was born and raised in Barrington, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, where his parents Henry and Mildred Lipofsky owned a small department store. He earned his BFA in Industrial Design, 1957-1962 at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, followed by an MS and MFA in Sculpture, 1962-1964, University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Mr. Lipofsky was among the first students to work with Harvey Littleton, the celebrated founder of the American Studio Glass movement, at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Immediately upon graduation, he was hired by the University of California, Berkeley to build and direct its glass program, where he taught until 1972. Teaching full-time, he developed the glass program at the California College of Arts and Crafts (now the California College of the Arts) in Oakland where he remained until 1987, when he left to work full time in his studio in Berkeley until his death.
In addition to his daughter Lisa Lipofsky-Valenzuela, Mr. Lipofsky is survived by his grandchildren, Briana & Antonio, his sister Barbara Marsh, and his good friend, Jeanette Bokhour.
Mr. Lipofsky's work was prized for its rhythmic forms and complex concave and convex shapes, which suggested both abstract and organic sources. Glass was his chosen medium of artistic expression. A consummate colorist, and fine artist, Mr. Lipofsky took great advantage of the chromatic possibilities of working with hot glass. He was dedicated to honoring the artists who worked with him and the places where he made his work.
Celebrated for his working method, Mr. Lipofsky regularly traveled to glass workshops around the USA and the world (he visited 30 foreign countries, including Bulgaria, China, Israel, New Zealand, the Soviet Union, and from coast to coast in the USA; he taught over 300 workshops around the world), where he gathered the raw material for his pieces, worked with local sculptors and their students in their hot shops, observed local communities and traditions, and then returned to Berkeley to assemble his final objects. Mr. Lipofsky functioned as an ambassador for sculpture in glass, often naming the groups of works that resulted from his voyage for their place of origin, for example, the Stockholm Series (1989) and the Kentucky Series (2000).
Mr. Lipofsky's work was widely exhibited and collected. It is included in the permanent collections of the Corning Museum of Glass, the Museum of Art and Design in New York, the Oakland Museum of California, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the St. Louis Museum of Art, the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Renwick Gallery (National Museum of American Art) Smithsonian Institution at Washington, D.C., and the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, among many others. The recipient of a Lifetime Achievement award from the Glass Art Society in 2009, he was also the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Oakland Museum of California in 2003. A founding member of the American Studio Glass movement, he was the most influential glass artist in California. Marvin Lipofsky was a formidable character and leader in the close knit community of glass artists and collectors, within the USA and internationally. He will be greatly missed.

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