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Harvey Littleton at Maurine Littleton Gallery Dale Chihuly at Maurine Littleton Gallery
Harvey Littleton
Dale Chihuly

Maurine Littleton - The Gallery - Her Family
Maurine’s work in the art world, specifically glass, is a family affair. Her grandfather, Jesse T. Littleton, while director of research for Corning Glass Works, was a pioneering physicist and contributor to the development of the glass formula that we all know today as ‘Pyrex.’ Her father, Harvey K. Littleton, first became involved in glass in an artistic capacity as a young man (casting glass sculptures before and after WWII). Harvey K. Littleton was Professor of ceramics at the University of Wisconsin during the 1950’s and ‘60s - one of the most vibrant periods of any time for American ceramics. In 1962 her father was instrumental in developing the processes for glass that could be worked in a studio - rather than a factory - paving the way for making the medium accessible to artists. That same year he introduced glass as a medium for artistic expression into the college curriculum at the University of Wisconsin marking the first time in the history of glass that it had been taught as a medium for artistic expression in a classroom setting, thereby garnering for himself the title “Father of the Studio Glass Movement” in the United States.

With such an impressive family background, it’s of little surprise that Maurine established herself as a major figure in the art world. She studied art at the University of Wisconsin, University of Michigan, the Interlochen Arts Academy, and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. In 1984, while in DC for the opening of her father’s retrospective exhibition at the Renwick Gallery, Maurine became aware that no existing DC art gallery was committed to the established artists working in glass and ceramics. Shortly later, the Maurine Littleton Gallery was established in Washington DC’s historic Georgetown neighborhood. With the opening of the gallery, nearly 30 years ago, Maurine began representing such artists as William Morris, Dale Chihuly, Ginny Ruffner, Therman Statom, Colin Reid, John Littleton, and Kate Vogel – and continues to do so to this day. Maurine credits her successful, long-term relationships with her artists as a direct result of being raised in a family of artists. Seeing the “business of art” from both the artist’s and dealer’s point-of-view affords her a unique and valuable perspective.

Today, Maurine serves as a juror, judge, and lecturer in many events across the United States. She has authored exhibition catalogues and curated museum exhibitions. Currently she is contributing to her father’s biography, which will be released in conjunction with the 50-year anniversary of the studio glass arts movement. In addition to running her gallery and supporting her artists, Maurine exhibits at numerous art fairs across the country and assists new and existing clients build their collections as well as assisting them with the process of gifting their collections to museums. Most recently, Maurine has facilitated the gifting of artwork to the Corning Museum of Glass, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Yale University Art Gallery, and other prominent cultural institutions.

Len Luterbach March 2011

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