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Visual Arts Center of Richmond

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Exhibition Celebrates the Founder of the American Studio Glass Movement

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Richmond, VA, September 29, 2012 --( Harvey K. Littleton: A Legacy in Glass opens Friday, November 9 at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond with a public reception from 6:00 – 8:00pm. Local glass artist Ryan Gothrup will lead glassblowing demonstrations in the VisArts’ courtyard during the opening reception.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the landmark glass workshops that brought glass out of the factory and into the artist’s studio, the Visual Arts Center of Richmond will host an exhibition of work spanning the career of Harvey Littleton, the renowned glass artist widely acknowledged as the father of the American Studio Glass Movement.

Harvey Littleton began experimenting with hot glass in 1959 and later established the first Studio Glass curriculum at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Prior to his 1962 workshops, glass was solely a factory material used to make functional, utilitarian objects. Littleton’s experimental and innovative use of blown glass as a sculptural material transformed glass-making into a viable medium for artistic expression.

This exhibition will present over 50 works created by Littleton over the span of his career, including glass made from 1946 – 1989, ceramics from 1949 – 1961, and vitreograph prints created in his Spruce Pine studio between 1983 and 2001. Works in the exhibition are on loan from private collections, primarily from members of Harvey Littleton’s family.

The son of a Director of Research for Corning Glass Works, Harvey Kline Littleton was born in 1922 in Corning, New York. He studied physics and industrial design before studying and teaching ceramics. Littleton attended the University of Michigan and the Brighton School of Art, London before earning his MFA in Ceramics from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Littleton served on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, Madison from 1951 – 1977, initially teaching ceramics before turning to glass blowing in the late 1950s. In 1977 he retired to focus solely on creating his own art.

Littleton's work is in the collections of museums worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Corning Museum of Glass, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Arts & Design, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Harvey K. Littleton: A Legacy in Glass is organized in conjunction with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ exhibition of work by Dale Chilhuly, Harvey Littleton’s former student. The exhibition continues through January 13, 2013.

Special programming related to the exhibition includes an artist’s talk by Charlotte Potter, Glass Studio Manager at the Chrysler Museum of Art on Monday, November 12 at 7:00PM. Glassblowing classes are scheduled throughout the exhibition. Call VisArts for more information.

This exhibition is presented with support from the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass and the Danwell Foundation.

Located at 1812 W. Main St. in Richmond’s Fan District, the Visual Arts Center of Richmond engages the community in the creative process through the visual arts. For more information, call 804-353-0094 or visit Art for everyone. Creativity for life.
Contact Information
Visual Arts Center of Richmond
Stacie Marshall
804-353-0094 x 214

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