2021 Carder Steuben Club Twentieth Annual Symposium

September 10-11, 2021

A Virtual Presentation

Co-hosted by

The Corning Museum of Glass

Friday, September 10

8:45 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks

Bonnie Salzman, Club President

9:15-10:15 a.m. - 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 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

Tom Felt volunteers as the Director of the Museum of American Glass in West Virginia. He is retired from the Library of Congress. He has written numerous books and other publications, including The Glass Candlestick Book, volumes 1-3, co-authored with Rich and Elaine Stoer, Modern Steuben: Catalog of the Martin Massman Collection of Steuben Glass, and many others.

11:00-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.

Joe Schill began working at the Rakow Research Library in the summer of 2015 as an intern in Archives and Special Collections. After completing a master's degree in information and library science at SUNY Buffalo in 2019, he returned as a full-time archivist in 2020. Before entering the world of libraries and archives, Joe taught high school social studies for ten years. In addition to an MSILS, he earned an MA in history from George Mason University and an MAT in social studies education from SUNY Binghamton.

1:30pm - Annual Business Meeting

2:00-3:00 p.m. - Dr. 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.

Kit Maxwell is Curator of Early Modern Glass at CMoG. He is contributing editor of In Sparkling Company: Reflections on Glass in the 18th-Century British World and curator of the exhibit. Kit holds a BA in History of Art from the University of Cambridge in 2001, an MA in Decorative Arts and Historic Interiors at the University of London in 2005, and a PhD from the University of Glasgow in 2014. Between 2005 and 2010, Kit was Assistant Curator in the Ceramics and Glass Section at the V&A Museum working on the reinstallation of the ceramics galleries. Kit is currently co-authoring a new publication on Corning's collection of Asian glass, completing an M.Phil with the University of Glasgow on Nazi-era provenance research, and commencing a new research degree with the University of Warwick in the field of Caribbean Studies.

3:00-4:00 p.m. - Open Chat Room - time to visit with each other

Saturday, September 21

9:00-10:00 a.m. - 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.

Sue Maynard is a member of the Carder Steuben Club. Her education and early career focused on the field of history. In the 1980s she and husband Steve began collecting glass and pottery while working in IT. Weekend trips from the Cleveland area to Corning allowed them to become acquainted with Mr. Rockwell and his fantastic array of Carder Steuben in the department store. He guided us in buying pieces that we would be happy to live with. Those remain in our collection today. In the early 1990s their interest turned toward ceramics. By chance, they saw some of the boldly decorated pieces designed by the British innovator Clarice Cliff during the 1920's and 1930's. As members of the Clarice Cliff Club based in England they attended the group's convention in Stoke-on-Trent where Cliff worked and were able to meet some of the retired paintresses who had decorated pottery they owned. Sue has continued to learn about her life and work since then.

10:30-11:30 a.m. - Dr. Gregory 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!

Dr. Greg Merkel is a Research Fellow at Corning Incorporated where he has worked for 40 years in the field of technical ceramics. He is also a Fellow of the Corning Museum of Glass and a member of the museum's Ennion Society. Greg has been collecting Carder Steuben for almost 30 years, originally specializing in iridescent glass and subsequently branching out into Carder's other colored glassware as well. For the past 15 years, Greg has been researching the chemistry of Carder Steuben glass based on his cataloguing of recipes in Carder's laboratory notebooks and an analysis of over 600 Steuben objects using x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy.

1:30-2:30 p.m. - 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?)

Cheryl and Chris Dartt met in graduate school at Caltech where both completed their doctorates in Chemical Engineering. However, neither ended up working in this field. Chris is a high school chemistry teacher and Cheryl works in internet technology, though both are recently retired. The Dartts first became interested in Steuben glass on a trip to New York City in 1996 when they were just dating. A serendipitous visit to Gump's department store in San Francisco led them to their first piece of "antique Steuben" and the rest is history -- they have now been collecting Steuben for nearly 25 years. They currently reside in Eugene, Oregon.

4:00-5:00 p.m. - Cocktail hour and toast to Frederick Carder

Carder Steuben Stemware Set - 6928