2021 Annual Symposium
Friday, September 10
9:00 am – Welcome and opening remarks
9:15 – 10:15 am – Tom Felt, Director of The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia
The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia
Tom will take participants on a virtual tour of the Museum beginning from the moment you walk through the front doors, when the first thing you encounter is one of the largest collections of modern Steuben in the world. Adjacent is a small, but choice, selection of Carder Steuben. And that is just the beginning of a tour of one of the most diverse and eclectic collections of American glass you will find anywhere. MAGWV is also a major research repository and Tom will take you behind the scenes to see some of the treasures from the archives.
11:00 am – Noon – Joe Schill, Archivist, Rakow Research Library
Processing the Frederick Carder Papers: Thoughts and Reflections
This presentation will focus on Joe’s efforts to apply the principles of archival arrangement to a collection that was previously managed by library and museum registration methods. It was no small undertaking, given the wealth of materials related to Frederick Carder housed at the Rakow Research Library (over 90 linear feet!). The Frederick Carder Papers (MS 0017) document Carder’s life, from his student days in England through his time as art director at Corning Glass Works. The Papers include many design drawings and rough sketches, correspondence, travel diaries, glass recipes, and a variety of other types of material; a treasure trove of information on Frederick Carder, which, until recently, received little archival processing to make it comprehensible to researchers. Joe hopes to bring a fresh perspective to a well-documented legend of the glass world in this presentation.
1:30 pm – Annual business meeting
2:00 – 3:00 pm – Christopher “Kit” Maxwell, Curator of Early Modern Glass, CMoG
In Sparkling Company: Glass and the Costs of Social Life in Britain during the 1700s’
Eighteenth-century English and Irish lead glass formed a significant portion of the founding collection of The Corning Museum of Glass, acquired from the antiques department of Steuben Inc. At the time it was made, Britain was a vibrant and commercial nation. Its growing cities were hubs of sociability, scientific advancement, trade, and finance. Its glass industry was world-renowned.
From glittering costume and elaborately presented confectionery, to polished mirrors and dazzling chandeliers, glass helped define the social rituals and cultural values of the period. While innovations in glass delighted the wealthy, the material also bore witness to the ambitions of colonization and the horrors of the African slave trade. Glass beads were traded for human lives and elegant glass dishes, baskets and bowls held sweet delicacies made with sugar produced by enslaved labor. Underpinning Britain’s prosperity were aggressive foreign trade policies, colonization and a far-reaching economy of enslavement, the profits of which funded the pleasures and innovations of the fashionable world.
3:00 – 4:00 pm – open chat room – time to visit with each other
Saturday, September 11
9:00 – 10:00 am – Sue Maynard, member
Clarice Cliff Ceramics
Clarice Cliff was a 20th century ceramic artist in England. She started working in the pottery industry at age 13 while also studying art and sculpture. After working in several factories and apprenticeships, she started developing her own patterns and decorations. Her “Bizarre” style is well-known. Demand for her pieces took off in the 1930s with two factories producing her work. She remained active in the industry until the mid-1960s. Sue will share with you her passion for Cliff’s ceramics and the beautiful pieces that she created.
10:30 – 11:30 am – Greg Merkel, member
Something Old, Something Blue: A Survey of Frederick Carder’s Blue Glassware
Steuben manufactured over two dozen different blue glass compositions during the Carder era, spanning transparent and translucent varieties in both the “Flint” and “Aurene” families of glassware. The chemistry, history, and appearance of these glasses will be reviewed based on factory records and non-destructive analysis of the objects with the goal of furthering our understanding and appreciation of Steuben’s blue glassware. Come join us on a trip into the wild blue yonder!
1:30 -2:30 pm – Cheryl & Chris Dartt, members
Just a Shade Obsessed
Over twenty years ago Cheryl and Chris purchased their first Steuben lamp shade. They could not have predicted that this one piece would lead to an over two-decades-long (healthy?) obsession with shades. The Dartts will share photos of their collection of Steuben shades and will discuss colors, decorations, and shapes. They’ll also share stories of their journey and how they ended up acquiring far too many to fit into cabinets. (But we always have room for just one more, right?)
4:00 – 5:00 pm – Cocktail hour and toast to Frederick Carder
The Symposium brochures for the last several Symposiums are set forth in this section as are photographs from several Symposiums. Typically, in July the Symposium brochure for the current year Symposium is posted.