Catherine Whalen will be speaking at the Paul and Irene Hollister Lectures on Glass on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Her talk is entitled “The Gift of Criticism: Paul Hollister’s Writings and the Ascendancy of Studio Glass.”

Catherine Whalen is Assistant Professor at the Bard Graduate Center in New York City, where she has taught full-time since 2007. She received a B.S. from Cornell University, an M.A. from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture at the University of Delaware, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University. The recipient of Whiting, McNeil, and Smithsonian fellowships, as well as grants from the Design History Society and the American Heritage Center, Whalen has lectured and written on U.S. craft and design history, gender and material culture studies, history and theory of collecting, and photography. Her work has been featured in the journals Winterthur Portfolio, Studies in the Decorative Arts, Nineteenth Century, and Afterimage as well as the anthology Using Visual Evidence, edited by Richard Howells and Robert W. Matson. Her forthcoming book is entitled Material Politics: Francis P. Garvan, American Antique Collecting, and Cultural Nationalism in the Interwar United States. With Irene Hollister, Paul Hollister’s widow, Whalen is currently co-editing Paul Hollister: Collected Writings on Studio Glass, supported by a grant from the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design. This project brings together important published work by this noted critic and historian, accompanied by essays on his significance to the field and a comprehensive annotated bibliography.

Paul Hollister wrote over seventy articles and reviews on studio glass during the 1970s, ‘80s, and early ‘90s, persuasively arguing for its recognition as an artistic endeavor. His coverage was especially important given that among all postwar studio crafts, glass was the newest. Its inception is dated to 1962, when Harvey Littleton and Dominick Labino conducted their renowned glassblowing workshop at the Toledo Museum of Art. Following upon the fiftieth anniversary of this historic event, Whalen’s lecture will highlight the significance of Hollister’s writings, placing them in the larger context of the postwar studio craft movement, and the shifting boundaries between craft and art. In tandem, she will discuss the critic’s role in shaping a growing field, and the impact of critical writing upon makers and dealers, audiences and markets, and exhibitions and collecting practices. Along with the many articles Hollister wrote for publications such as American Craft, New Work, Collector Editions, and Neues Glas, he also regularly reviewed local, national and international exhibitions for the New York Times, including those at key venues like the Corning Museum of Glass, Habatat Galleries in Dearborn, Michigan, and the Heller Gallery in New York City. As a result, he established himself an influential critic and advocate of studio glass for a large, general audience. Among the many artists he profiled—some for the first time—were Michael Glancy, Tom Patti, Paul Stankard, Dale Chihuly, James Carpenter, Steven Weinberg, Joel Philip Myers, Mark Peiser, Sydney Cash, Jay Musler, Howard Ben Tré, Michael Aschenbrenner, William Carlson, Jon Kuhn, Carol Cohen, Flora Mace, and Joey Kirkpatrick. Whalen’s talk will conclude by addressing Paul Hollister’s work as a glass historian and an educator as well as a critic, and his legacy at the Bard Graduate Center.

Light refreshments will be served at 5:45 pm. The presentation will begin at 6:00 pm.

RSVP is required.

PLEASE NOTE that our Lecture Hall can only accommodate a limited number of people, so please come early if you would like to have a seat in the main room. We also have overflow seating available; all registrants who arrive late will be seated in the overflow area.