Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Online Media

Catalog Data

Lipofsky, Marvin, 1938-2016  Search this
Karlstrom, Paul J.  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
103 Pages (Transcript)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
2003 July 30-August 5
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Marvin Lipofsky conducted 2003 July 30-August 5, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Berkeley, California.
Lipofsky speaks of growing up in the retail clothing trade; relating immediately in his early career to artists Peter Voulkos and John Mason; studying industrial design at the University of Illinois and sculpture at the University of Madison, Wisconsin, where Harvey Littleton introduced him to glass blowing; traveling to Europe to learn about glass; his desire to share education experiences with others; setting up education programs at Berkeley and the California College of Arts and Crafts; establishing the Great California Glass Symposium and creating a sense of community of glass art; artists versus artisans and craftsmen; studio glass as an American phenomenon; functional versus non-functional glass art; spirituality in his work; glassblowing associated with the breath of life; the Bay Area art scene; symbolic forms and organic quality of works; influences from working in factories and other countries; his experience working at the Venini Factory in Murano, Italy; his involvement in the California College of Arts and Crafts, Glass Arts Society, and National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts; abstraction as his main subject of works; inspirations of colorful clothing and color in nature; and the "American Glass Now" exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art, the first major glass exhibit in the United States. Lipfosky also recalls Dante Marioni, Paul Marioni, Beatrice Wood, Christopher Wilmarth, Ken Holston, Dale Chihuly, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Marvin Bentley Lipofsky (1938- ) is a glass artist and educator from Berkeley, California. Paul Karlstrom (1941- ) is an art historian from San Marino, California.
Originally recorded on 6 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 11 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hrs., 31 min.
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.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Glass art -- California  Search this
Glass artists -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Glass blowing and working -- Technique  Search this
Glass blowing and working -- Study and teaching  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Sound recordings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art