Toledo Bottle

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Object Name: 
Toledo Bottle
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 16.2 cm, Diam (max): 6.5 cm
On Display
Credit Line: 
Gift of the Harvey K. Littleton Family
Web Description: 
Harvey K. Littleton is internationally recognized for his ground-breaking work in developing and promoting American studio glass. Glass and invention came naturally to Littleton, who was born and raised in Corning, New York. His father, Jesse T. Littleton, was the director of research at Corning Glass Works. His mother, Bessie Cook Littleton, was instrumental in the development of Corning’s Pyrex cookware. Like many in Corning, Littleton was convinced that blowing glass outside the factory was impossible, so he turned his attention to ceramics. He earned an M.F.A. at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1951 and joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. During the 1950s, he experienced the revolution in studio ceramics that would inspire a similar revolution in glass. Although he worked in clay, Littleton did not forget about glass, and at the 1960 American Craft Council conference, he announced his intention to explore glassworking methods. Littleton approached Otto Wittmann, director of The Toledo Museum of Art, with the idea of holding two experimental glass workshops there in March and June 1962. The seminal 1962 Toledo workshops, which mark the birth of the American Studio Glass movement, were led by Littleton and Dominick Labino, a glass research scientist at Johns Manville, near Toledo. The aim of the Toledo workshops was to introduce artists to the use of hot glass as a material for contemporary art. This small bottle is modest and not skillfully made, but it has the impressive and important distinction of being one of the few objects to survive from the historic Toledo workshops. Signed “Littleton Toledo Museum Workshop June 1962.” From the artist’s personal collection. For more information, see Joan Falconer Byrd, Harvey K. Littleton: A Life in Glass: Founder of America’s Studio Glass Movement, New York: Skira Rizzoli, 2011.
Maurine Littleton Gallery, Source
Littleton / Toledo Museum / Workshop / June 1962
Engraved on base
Primary Description: 
Colorless glass made from #475 Johns-Manville marbles with slight aqua blue tint; blown, cut. Teardrop-shaped vessel with asymmetrical neck; rim cut so that one side extends higher than the other.
Corning Museum of Glass 2011-11-17 through 2013-01-06
West Bridge show at CMoG
Venice and American Studio Glass (2020) illustrated, p. 19 (fig. 7);
Meiguo xian dai bo li yi shu qun ti yan jiu / 美国现代玻璃艺术群体研究 (1962-2012) / 张鹏程著 (2019) illustrated, p. 54;
Contemporary Glass Vessels: Selections from the Corning Museum of Glass (2015) illustrated, p. 21, 56-57 (fig. 26, plate 5); BIB# 149403
Notes: Harvey K. Littleton (1922-2013) (2014) illustrated, p. 400;
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 2011 (2012) illustrated, pp. 9, 38;
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2011 (2012) illustrated, p. 57; BIB# AI87745
Jurors' Choice (2012) illustrated, p. 79, top;
Recent Important Acquisitions (New Glass Review 33) (2012) illustrated, p. 111, bottom, left; BIB# AI87134
Jurors' Choice (New Glass Review 33) (2012) illustrated, p. 79, top; BIB# AI87132