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American Craft Magazine October/November 2010

Dan Dailey: Directions in Glass

We dig through our stacks to bring you the best of our past.

Dan Dailey, Statue, 1980, glass and metal, 22 3/4 in. high
Dan Dailey, High Rise Unit, 1980, glass, 10 in. high
Dan Dailey, Statue, 1980, glass and metal, 22 3/4 in. high
Photo gallery (2 images)

Located in Suite 200 of 1224 Marshall Street NE in Minneapolis is the American Craft Council library, one of the largest collections in this country of craft, art and design books documenting the studio craft movement from the 1940s to the present. The over 14,000 volumes include the Council’s 68-year publishing history—all past issues of Craft Horizons and American Craft. We’d like to share some of this amazing past with you each issue as we dig through the stacks.

In an interview that appeared in the February/ March 1981 issue of American Craft, conducted by Ronald J. Onorato, an assistant professor of art at the University of Rhode Island, Kingston, glass artist Dan Dailey declared, “I see my work as a kind of genre, that is, I react to the world around me, the world that I see.” Since that time, Dailey, who lives and works in Kensington, NH, has expressed his unique, often playful views of the universe through elegant vessels, figurative sculpture, lighting fixtures and a variety of commissions.

Active in the studio glass movement from its early years, Dailey founded the glass program at the Massachusetts College of Art, where he taught for 35 years while simultaneously working as an artist/designer for several glass companies, including Cristallerie Daum, in France, and Steuben Glass. He recently transitioned into a new relationship with MassArt for a series titled Materialism, in collaboration with Joe Rapone, a professor of design at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. In four presentations a year, with video interviews by Rapone, the series looks at six contemporary artists identified with the studio craft movement—Garry Knox Bennett, Wendell Castle, Dale Chihuly, William Daley, Albert Paley and Patti Warashina.

Dailey continues his commissioned work and recently completed a chandelier for a private yacht in Seattle.

Among his many awards, Dailey was elected a Fellow of the American Craft Council in 1998, honored in 2000 with the Libensky Award and in 2001 with the Masters of the Medium Award by the James Renwick Alliance. Shown in over 300 exhibitions, including a 1987 retrospective at the Renwick Gallery, his work is in more than 50 museum and public collections internationally, as well as shown by, among others, Scott Jacobson Gallery, New York, Holsten Galleries, Santa Fe, NM, and Imago Galleries, Palm Desert, CA, where several of his pieces are now on view. “I consider Dan to be one of a handful of contemporary American glass artists whose work has pushed the limits of what is possible in hot glass,” notes Kenn Holsten. “He has impacted the entire landscape of glass art.”

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