Oral history interview with Henry Halem, 2005 May 14
Halem, Henry, 1938-
Warmus, William, 1953-
Glass Art Society
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 81 pages
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 12 min.
An interview of Henry Halem conducted 2005 May 14, by William Warmus, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Kent, Ohio.
Halem speaks of his family background and growing up in the Bronx; learning to throw pots; taking art classes as a child; attending the Rhode Island School of Design and studying ceramics; joining the National Guard; his interest in music; working as resident craftsman at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; attending George Washington University; exhibiting at the Renwick Gallery; opening a gallery and studio in Alexandria, Virginia.; transferring to the University of Wisconsin for his graduate degree; and becoming Harvey Littleton's glass studio assistant. Halem also speaks of Harvey Littleton's teaching methods; teaching at Kent State University; learning the glass making process; making goblets and glass castings; making political pieces; selling work to the Corning Museum of Glass; forming the Glass Art Society; the studio glass community; getting color into glass; how the Glass Art Society has changed; his teaching method; exhibiting his artwork; how his technique changed during his career; writing his book, "Glass Notes"; visiting glass studios in Europe; his friendship with artists Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtova; influences on his artwork; and working with enamel. Halem also recalls Peter Voulkos, Don Reitz, Fritz Dreisbach, Erwin Eisch, Dominick Labino, Marvin Lipofsky, Mark Peiser, Audrey Handler, Dale Chihuly, and others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Henry Halem, 2005 May 14. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for this interview was provided by the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America. Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Henry Halem (1938- ) is a glass artist from Kent, Ohio. William Warmus is a writer and curator.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001