Lino Tagliapietra legacy gallery at Museum of Glass
On 4 March 2023 the US-based Museum of Glass hosted an exclusive, 200-person celebration of glass master Lino Tagliapietra. With family, friends, and colleagues, as well as artists he has inspired in attendance, Tagliapietra made his final appearance in the US. He plans to retire and spend his time with his family in Italy.
The highlight of the evening was the announcement that Tagliapietra has selected Museum of Glass as the place for his work and legacy to reside. The artist will contribute art from his own archive that will fill a new permanent gallery space.
“The planned Lino Tagliapietra exhibition at Museum of Glass is a key part of our strategic plan moving forward and represents our goal to celebrate glass artists. We are honoured that maestro Lino Tagliapietra has chosen Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington as the place to tell his legacy story, and that he will generously provide art from his archive to support this endeavour,” said Museum of Glass Executive Director Debbie Lenk.
Tagliapietra has had an immeasurable impact on the glass art movement and glass artists over his long career. He has trained and mentored many young glassblowers, passing on his knowledge and techniques to future generations. Simply put, the Studio Glass movement would not be what it is today without Lino Tagliapietra. Museum of Glass’s goal for this new permanent gallery is to highlight Tagliapietra’s mastery and vision, with the hope that it inspires future generations of glass artists to continue to push the boundaries of the medium and galvanises viewers to gain deeper understanding of its history and possibilities as it continues to evolve.
Museum of Glass Hot Shop Director Ben Cobb said, “It is an honour to have worked for and alongside Lino. His contributions to the progression of the Studio Glass movement cannot be overstated, and his drive and passion for the material is nearly unmatched. To hear Lino say over the years that the Museum of Glass is one of his favourite places to work gives me and the entire Hot Shop staff an immense sense of pride. And to be a part of and witness Lino’s energy on the Hot Shop floor has been a highlight of my career. I cannot wait for his story to be displayed in our galleries.”
Tagliapietra has visited Museum of Glass frequently since 2007. He has completed 19 residencies and appearances in the Museum’s Hot Shop to standing-room-only audiences, delighting thousands of visitors both in-person and around the world through the Hot Shop Livestream.
The Museum has held three major exhibitions of Tagliapietra’s work.
Tagliapietra’s unique style, characterised by intricate designs, uncommon attention to detail, and bold use of coloru, combines traditional Venetian glassblowing techniques with modern elements. His signature pieces, many of which will be on display in the new Museum of Glass gallery, feature complex movement and flow.
Museum of Glass Curator of Education Susan Warner, added, “Museum of Glass is the recipient of The Lino Archives, collected over the years Lino spent in the Pacific Northwest and carefully assembled by his studio, dating back to the mid-nineties. The work shows the evolution of Lino as an artist and demonstrates intricate Italian techniques in addition to the artistic freedom that the United States gave him. Lino grew as an artist in America by pushing the techniques into new territory, exploring their revolutionary potential with a boldness entrenched in years of experience with the material. His gift to the Pacific Northwest is the document of this time.”
Speaking at the event, Lino Tagliapietra commented, “It is very hard to explain in words what happened during these days. I would have never expected this much love and attention. It is true that this highlights the end of my journey. However, all the recognition, honours, awards, and friends that surrounded this event made my end of the journey very special and much less bitter.”
Lino Tagliapietra has worked with glass for over 70 years. He was born in Murano, Italy in 1934 and became an apprentice glassblower at age 11. Even at a young age, Tagliapietra exhibited an immense dexterity for glass and was appointed the title of maestro when he was just 21. In 1979, Lino visited Seattle for the first time and introduced students at the Pilchuck Glass School to the traditions of Venetian glassblowing. This cross-cultural collaboration shaped the identity of American glassblowing and offered Tagliapietra an opportunity to expand his horizons internationally.
Planning for the Lino Tagliapietra gallery at Museum of Glass is underway.
The Museum of Glass is at: 1801 Dock Street, Tacoma, WA 98402, US. https://www.museumofglass.org/
Image: Lino Tagliapietra on the Hot Shop floor at Museum of Glass during his final appearance in the US. Photo: Russell Johnson. © Russell Johnson.