An interview of Paul Stankard conducted 2006 June 9 and August 20, by Doug Heller, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the Heller Gallery, in New York, N.Y.
Stankard speaks of his family heritage and growing up in rural Massachusetts; attending Catholic school in North Attelboro, Massachusetts; his struggle with undiagnosed dyslexia throughout school; studying scientific glassblowing at Salem County Vocational Technical Institute; working in the scientific glass industry and feeling creatively stifled by its monotony; being intrigued by the flameworking of Charles Kaziun and Francis Whittemore, who both worked from the scientific glassblowing tradition; the satisfaction he felt from early experiments in making paperweights; the decision to leave his industry job to focus on flameworking and paperweight making; the secretive nature of the paperweight world; his early representation by paperweight dealers including Jack Feingold; experiences with Heller Gallery and Habatat Gallery; teaching experiences at Penland School of Crafts, Pilchuck Glass School, and Salem Community College; travels to Singapore, Japan, and Scotland; his involvement as a founding member of Creative Glass Center of America; his induction into the American Craft Council College of Fellows; the differences between the studio glass and paperweight fields in the 1960s and 1970s; working with his three daughters at Stankard Studio; the spirituality of his work; being influenced by Walt Whitman, Morris Graves, Robert Grant, and Edward Hopper; and being an enthused art collector. Stankard also recalls Harvey Littleton, Dominic Labino, Reese Paley, Mark Peiser, Erwin Eisch, Paul Hollister, Tom Patti, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Paul Stankard (1943- ) is a studio glass artist of Mantua, N.J. Doug Heller (1946- ) is a gallery owner and director of the Heller Gallery, New York, N.Y.
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 32 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.
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.