Glass artist Beth Lipman is renowned for her sculptural compositions which recreate the bounty and visual sumptuousness of Renaissance and Baroque still-life paintings, particularly 17th-century Dutch scenes. Lipman takes elements from these paintings—static composition, expressive light and opulent decoration—and translates the scenes into 3-D glass. Her objects, like those in the paintings, are chosen for their connotations. Overturned goblets and broken glass symbolize human frailty and mortality.
"Glass creates a tangible third dimension, capturing the painting’s polished quality," Lipman explains. "Its transparency suggests an ideal form, the essence of an object."
Lipman earned a bachelor of fine arts from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in 1994. She has received grants from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Peter S. Reed Foundation, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts/National Endowment for the Arts and the Ruth Chenven Foundation. Recently, she received the 2006 UrbanGlass Award for New Talent.
Lipman's work has greatly benefited from several artist-in-residence programs, including programs at The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, N.Y.; the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wis.; and the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Wash. These residencies afforded her a team of glass artists to assist with large-scale works. Lipman's tour-de-force "Bancketje (Banquet)" (2003) was created during a residency at the Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center in Millville, N.J. and later exhibited at such venues as the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Mass.; the Heller Gallery in New York City; and SOFA Chicago.
Lipman served as the education director at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn, N.Y. from 1997 to 2000. She has taught at the Pratt Fine Arts Center at New York University, the Parsons School of Design and the Bard Graduate Center, all in New York City. Since 2005 she has served as the Arts/Industry coordinator of the artist-in-residence program at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.