Biography: David Whitehouse

David Whitehouse, Senior Scholar
David Whitehouse

David Whitehouse (1941-2013) joined The Corning Museum of Glass in 1984 as chief curator. He was named deputy director of collections in 1987, was promoted to deputy director of the Museum in 1988, and became director in 1992. He was appointed to executive director in 1999. In 2011, Whitehouse left his position as executive director and became the Museum’s senior scholar, focusing on a number of projects, including writing and publishing additional volumes on Islamic glass.

Whitehouse held a Ph.D. in Archaeology from Cambridge University in England and, prior to joining The Corning Museum of Glass, served as director of the British Institute of Afghan Studies and The British School at Rome. Whitehouse also directed numerous archaeological excavations in the United Kingdom, Italy, Iran, Afghanistan, and Libya. He published more than 500 scholarly papers, reviews, monographs, and books―including three volumes of Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass―in addition to serving as an advisor to various academic journals. He served as editor of the Corning Museum’s Journal of Glass Studies from 1988 to 2011. In 1990, he co-authored with artist and scholar William Gudenrath several groundbreaking articles on the manufacture and ancient repair of the Portland Vase.

Whitehouse curated numerous exhibitions at the Museum, including Reflecting Antiquity: Modern Glass Inspired by Ancient Rome (2008), Botanical Wonders: The Story of the Harvard Glass Flowers (2007), and Glass of the Sultans (2001). In 1987, he co-curated the groundbreaking Glass of the Caesars exhibition with the British Museum in London and the Römisch-Germanisches Museum in Cologne, a show that introduced ancient Roman glass to thousands of visitors for the first time.

Whitehouse was a member of the board of the International Association for the History of Glass, having served as president from 1991 to 1995. He was also a member of the Pontificia academia romana di archeologia, an elected fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Society of Antiquaries of London, and a trustee for the Rockwell Museum in Corning, NY.

Whitehouse died February 17, 2013, following a brief battle with cancer.