• Diablitos in the Details: The Curious Tale of Mexico's Most Peculiar Pottery In the rural Mexican state of Michoacán, devils, mermaids, saints, sun gods, and drunks can all be found mixing it up and having a great time. Each of these characters, and many more, inhabit the strange universe depicted in sculptures produced in the tiny town of Ocumicho. "Though sanitized into angels and last-supper scenes for tourist markets, authentic Marcelino figures are almost always ob…
  • Loetz Glass Collector Eddy Scheepers on the Pride of Bohemia Loetz was a Bohemian company. It was a factory; and the region’s biggest and best glass manufacturer. There were other contemporaries like Kralik, Rindskopf, and Pallme-Konig that produced glass in the same style, made almost in the same way, but not always with the same quality. The glass is covered with vapors of metals, like silver, for instance. Most Loetz glass was not free-blown like most pe…
  • U.S. Studio Art Glass, Before and After Chihuly Marvin Lipofsky introduced me to glass while I was getting a bachelor’s degree in ceramics at the California College of Arts in Oakland, California. One day I saw a poster there for the Pilchuck Glass School, which is about 50 miles north of Seattle. I told my parents about it and as a graduation gift they sent me to Pilchuck in the summer of 1974. That’s when I met Dale Chihuly. He’s the found…
  • Who Killed American Kitsch? For home-front America, World War II was a time of shared sacrifice, when people gave up simple pleasures to support those fighting overseas in the greatest struggle the civilized world had ever known. After the war, though, society breathed a collective sigh of relief and went out looking for a bit of fun. One of the easiest things to do was to update one’s décor, as Donald-Brian Johnson discove…
  • Reyne Haines Spills on Tiffany, Chihuly, and Loetz I started becoming interested in art glass when I moved from Texas to New York, and wanted to decorate my apartment with New York-type things, things I had never seen in Houston. I grew up in Texas, which is a relatively new state. While there’s a lot of money in Texas, we didn’t have a Tiffany’s, we didn’t have a Marshall Field’s, or companies that sold Baccarat or Lalique or Tiffany or Steuben o…
  • Cowan Art Pottery of the Art Deco Era I’m the curator here at the museum in Rocky River, a suburb west of Cleveland. I look at Cowan pottery from a historian’s angle because this is part of Rocky River’s cultural history. I’m not a collector, but I personally enjoy and value Cowan pottery. I was on the board of trustees of the library about 10 years ago and did a lot of work to make sure that the Cowan Pottery Museum continued and was…