Lino Tagliapietra in Retrospect: A Modern Renaissance in Glass

This is a blown glass structure with multiple incalmi crisscrossed canes.

Mandara, 2006, designed and made by Lino Tagliapietra, blown glass with multiple incalmi, crisscrossed canes, Pilchuck ’96 technique; cut. Courtesy of Lino Tagliapietra, Inc. Photo by Russell Johnson

Lino Tagliapietra in Retrospect: A Modern Renaissance in Glass is the first exhibition to thoroughly examine the art of Lino Tagliapietra (b. 1934), widely revered as a master of glass blowing and credited with changing the course of contemporary studio glass through his teaching. Tagliapietra, who was trained in traditional Venetian glass-blowing techniques, traveled between the glass centers of Venice, Italy, and the Pacific Northwest and brought with him the closely guarded techniques of the Murano glassworks. In 1979, he was invited to teach at the recently established Pilchuck Glass School near Seattle.


The exhibition, which features 140 works from the artist's 40-year career including objects that have never been exhibited, explores the evolution of Tagliapietra's work. It also documents his unparalleled contributions to the studio glass movement through his teaching that fostered a new generation of artists. Tagliapietra's enormous influence can be seen in the work of several artists represented in SAAM's collection, including Dale Chihuly, Dan Dailey, and Dante Marioni, who also are now masters of their craft. The exhibition curator is Susanne Frantz, former curator of twentieth-century glass at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York.



Visiting Information

October 2, 2008 January 11, 2009
Open Daily, 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m
Free Admission


Lino Tagliapietra in Retrospect: A Modern Renaissance in Glass has been organized by the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington. The exhibition is sponsored by Rebecca and Jack Benaroya, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Russell Investments, Windgate Charitable Foundation, Heritage Bank and The Boeing Company.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum wishes to thank the James Renwick Alliance, John T. and Colleen Kollar Kotelly, the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass, the Ryna and Melvin Cohen Family Foundation, The Karma Foundation and Sharon Karmazin, and Chris Rifkin for their generous support of the exhibition in Washington, D.C.

Online Gallery


The exhibition catalogue, co-published by the Museum of Glass and the University of Washington Press, features essays by Susanne Frantz; Helmut Ricke, internationally acclaimed scholar and glass historian at the museum kunst palast in Düsseldorf, Germany; and Dante Marioni, an early Tagliapietra student and currently a leading glass artist in the United States. 


Lino Tagliapietra
Italian, born Murano, Italy 1934