Arguably the greatest glassblower alive today, Lino Tagliapietra started his career at the age of twelve, as an apprentice in a glass factory on his native island of Murano. He earned the title of maestro vetraio - master glassmaker - at 21 and in the late 1970s set off to pursue the path of a studio artist. After more than 65 years in the hotshop, the material remains magical to him and at 80 years of age, Lino is ‘only just beginning.’
Corning Museum of Glass curator Tina Oldknow summarizes his influence: “Today, artists from around the world use a Venetian glass vocabulary to make work that would never, ever be produced in Venice, and the dissemination of this remarkably creative and vibrant craft language may be Lino’s most important legacy. Lino came to America to discover what there might be here for him and to teach others to work glass. In the process, he helped to pioneer an industry – not for commerce, but for art.”
Tagliapietra’s work is represented in more than 50 international museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris.
Of the influences on Lino Tagliapietra glass art work, one of the most profound was his participation in La Scuola Internazionale del Vetro symposia, held in Murano in the 1970s, which brought the finest Muranese masters together with artists from other disciplines around the world. Also impactful was Tagliapietra’s collaboration with the Dutch glass designer A.D. Copier. Since his first United States visit in 1979 at the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA at the invitation of Benjamin Moore, teaching and collaboration have defined the artist and served as a source of inspiration for his own work. He has led workshops and taught in glass programs worldwide including at: the Haystack School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME; the Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA; Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI; the Toyama Art School, Toyama, Japan; University of Sydney, Australia; Centre College, Danville, KY; Centre Internationel de Recherche sur le Verre, Marseille, France; and the MIT Glass Lab, Cambridge, MA. James Yood explained that “from his work in filigrano into reticello, zanfirico and murine into incalmo, working with blown or fused glass, the arenas of his inquiry into the possibilities of glass seem endless.
Lino Tagliapietra has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions and is represented in a global assortment of museums and art institutions, including: Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA; Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass, Neenah, WI: Venice Biennale, Italy; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; Chrysler Museum; Norfolk, VA; Colby Museum of Art, Waterville, ME; Corning Museum of Glass, NY; The Danish Royal Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark; Glasmuseum, Ebeltoft, Denmark; Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo, Japan; M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, CA; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY: Mint Museum of Craft and Design, Charlotte, NC; Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Losanna, Switzerland; Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France; Museo del Vidrio, Monterrey, Mexico; Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY; Museum Boymans, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA; Museum Het Paleis, The Hague, Netherlands; National Museum of Ceramic Art and Glass, Baltimore, MD; Orlando Museum, FL; Palazzo Franchetti, Venice, Italy; Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy; Palm Springs Art Museum, CA; Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Seattle Art Museum, WA; Shanghai Museum of Glass, China; Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA; Tokyo National Modern Art Museum, Japan; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.
He is the recipient of countless awards and recognitions, including: Borsella d’Oro (1968; Murano); Rakow Commission for Excellence in Glass award (1996; Corning Museum); Glass Art Society Lifetime Achievement Award (1997); Urkunde Gold Medal (1997; Germany); Libensky Award (1998; Chateau Ste. Michelle Vineyards and Winery and Pilchuck Glass School); Honorary Doctorate (2004; Centre College, KY); The President’s Distinguished Artist Award (2004; University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA); Distinguished Educator Award (2006; James Renwick Alliance); Cristal Award (2007; Museo del Vidrio, Monterrey, Mexico); Foreign Honorary Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2007; Cambridge, MA); IIC Lifetime Achievement Award (2009; Istituto Italiano di Cultural, Los Angeles, CA); Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts (2011; Ohio State University, Columbus, OH).