ABOUT THIS BOOK
Glass as an art form has an ancient tradition; the archaeological record suggests that artisans in Egypt and Mesopotamia were fabricating glass vessels and ornaments during the fourth millennium BCE. Its durable nature, range of colors, malleability, and most of all, its optical transparency are qualities that have made glass a premiere art medium. Over a lifetime, Frederick Birkhill (1951–2023) has explored the unique qualities of glass and the numerous techniques and intricacies of working with it. The result of these decades of study is a body of work that is extraordinary in scope, technical expertise, and sheer virtuosity. The Artist Book Foundation is delighted to present a new monograph honoring this gifted artist: Glassworks: The Art of Frederick Birkhill.
From his time in England at Burleighfield House, the studio of stained-glass artist Patrick Reyntiens, to his unprecedented visit to Lauscha, the village in the former East Germany famous for both its art and scientific glass production, and his subsequent career as an explorer, teacher, and master of the glass arts, Birkhill has devoted himself to furthering the appreciation of the medium and sharing his vast experience with colleagues, collectors, and students. His works appear in numerous museum collections, including those of The Corning Museum of Glass, the Museum of Arts and Design, the Mint Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Smithsonian.
Complementing the scholarly contributions by authors with significant backgrounds in the glass arts, the book features in its extensive plate section the lavish photography of Henry Leutwyler, which offers readers an opportunity to examine the complex details and artistic mastery of Birkhill’s oeuvre. In addition, the monograph offers a glossary of glass-art terms, a detailed chronology of the artist’s life, his extensive exhibition history, and a list of the numerous awards he has received. For those who are passionate about the glass arts, this monograph is a feast for the eyes.