Glass Study Gallery: Modern and Contemporary Glass

Dominick Labino

Dominick Labino (American, 1910–1987), Vitrana. Glass, cast panels, 1969. Study Gallery

A curator, scientist, inventor, and engineer as well as an artist, Dominick Labino was the first American glass artist to be the subject of an internationally touring exhibition—a ten-year retrospective that was hosted at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, in 1974. As the director of research at Johns-Manville Fiber Glass Corporation until retiring to pursue a second career as a studio glass artist, Labino’s works in glass were based in the mathematical absolutes of the laws of chemistry and physics.

Labino was particularly interested in the color effects that could be achieved with glass and continually experimented with color formulas. He wrote in 1967:

“Color is one of the most important aspects of visual art, and this is especially true with glass…. Here, a knowledge of the chemistry of glass becomes essential since the base composition is critical in color control. The secrets of glassmaking do not reveal themselves readily; one will find it takes a great deal of time, thorough study of the material itself, hard work, and persistence to create in the finished object the brilliant and exciting effects which can be achieved with color.”