Paul V. Gardner–Parts I & II

Nov 2, 2008
Issue 429

A highlight of the Sept. 2003 Symposium was a bus visit on a snowy day to Alfred University. Why Alfred University?

Well, one of its distinguished alumni was Paul Vickers Gardner. Yes, the same Paul Gardner who became an assistant to Mr. Carder in 1929 and continued through 1943. Yes, we all know of Mr. Gardner from his pre-eminent text still being printed, “The Glass of Frederick Carder”(1971), as well as the text, “Frederick Carder: Portrait of a Glassmaker” (1985). Paul Gardner went on to become the first Curator of Ceramics and Glass the Smithsonian Institution from 1948 to 1977. Following his death in 1994 he left a bequest of funds, Carder Steuben glass and materials to develop the Paul Vickers Gardner Glass Center. In 2003 the Club’s Symposium had the opportunity to see the scope of Mr. Gardner’s Carder Collection, his vast collection of memorabilia and plans for the Gardner Glass Center. The Club also made a grant to Alfred to assist with commencing to curate the many original materials. Dr. Hall at Alfred presents the following update and report:

The Paul Vickers Gardner Glass Center
Paul Vickers Gardner was a graduate of the art and engineering program at Alfred University
in Alfred, New York. (BA ’30, Honorary PhD, ‘85.) After working with glass artist technologist Frederick Carder in the 1930s, he went on to become the first curator of glass and ceramics at the Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Gardner was keenly interested in the history of glass, glass science, and the promotion of young glass artists.
Because of his close ties with Alfred University, and recognizing its distinctive curriculum in glass art, science and engineering, he envisioned the formation of the Paul Vickers Gardner Glass Center at the New York State College of Ceramics. His bequest consists of his personal collection of Carder Steuben glass, other art glass, books, catalogs, lectures, photographs, drawings, slides and videotapes. The purpose of the center is to enhance education in glass art and science through exhibition and lecture series, and archival resources. These activities are temporarily unavailable, since the collection is in storage awaiting the availability of an exhibition room and suite of offices in Binns-Merrill Hall, on the university campus.

For further information, contact
Dr. Matthew Hall
Assistant Professor of Biomaterials and Glass Science
Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering, Alfred University
P: (607) 871-3143 E:
*****more to follow in subsequent Gazettes on an important resource on the work of
Frederick Carder*****

“Dr. Gardner chose Alfred University as the site for his educational center for glass art and science because he recognized it as the only institution of higher education in the United States to offer a curriculum in both glass art and glass science and engineering.” “Dr. Gardner was inspired by his mentor, glass artist-technologist Frederick Carder, founder Steuben Glass Works in Corning, NY, in the philosophy of the Arts and Crafts Movement–that ‘excellence in art is obtained through knowledge of science that results from education.'” On the Club’s Symposium visit to Alfred in 2003 we discovered Gardner’s lifetime treasure trove of documents bearing on these objectives and portraying the work of Frederick Carder. Unfortunately, they sit in boxes and curatorial work of major proportions needs to be done. In examining the development of the art glass movement the treasure trove of background materials is at the Rakow Library at CMoG in Corning. However, what was revealed by our 2003 trip to Alfred is the discovery that there is a great deal more of Carder knowledge to be found and some day revealed at the Paul Vickers Gardner Glass Center at Alfred.

******more to follow****** In the meantime see a couple attached pictures of Gardner’s glass
legacy to Alfred.

Symposium 2024
Carder Steuben Glass Association
13-14 September 2024
© Carder Steuben Glass Association Inc.