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Toledo Workshop at TMA, 1962
In 1962, the Studio Glass Movement was born in a garage on the Museum grounds. Harvey Littleton, a pottery instructor, received the support of then-director Otto Wittmann to conduct a workshop to explore ways artists might create works from molten glass in their own studios, rather than in factories. A prototype “studio” furnace was built in the TMA garage, but for the first three days of the workshop all attempts to fuse molten glass failed. Finally, Dominick Labino, then vice president and director of research at Johns Manville Fiber Glass, showed up with advice on furnace construction, and with glass marbles that melted. Harvey Leafgreen, a retired glassblower from Libbey Glass, was then able to demonstrate his craft. Later that summer, many participants returned for a second workshop.
In 1969, the Toledo Museum of Art constructed the Glass-Crafts Building, becoming the first museum to build a facility and studio specifically designed for teaching glass working techniques.
Today, the TMA Glass Pavilion is home to both one of the most important glass collections in the world, and to a variety of spaces and techniques for making glass in the studio.