The Maestro’s Farewell Tour: Corning Celebrates Lino Tagliapietra’s Impact on Glass

Lino Tagliapietra in the Museum’s Amphitheater Hot Shop, May 13, 2022.

Lino Tagliapietra may be retiring, but not before one final visit to The Corning Museum of Glass. Last weekend was a monumental one for Lino, the glassblowers and staff at the Museum, and all the guests who filled the Amphitheater Hot Shop to see the Maestro at work during what will be his final performance in Corning.

To celebrate Lino’s enduring legacy, we asked those lucky enough to know and work with him, to describe the impact he has made on the glass world. To no surprise, the response was fervent and unanimous: Lino’s impact is, and will always be, extraordinary!

Karol Wight, president and executive director, The Corning Museum of Glass

“Lino Tagliapietra is an icon in the contemporary glass world. His works are a fluid demonstration of the technical mastery of Venetian technique and an enthusiastic approach to color and form. Ever since Lino left Murano at the invitation of Dale Chihuly and Benjamin Moore to teach at Pilchuck in 1979, his impact and approach to glass art have been felt. One need only look at the generation of artists who have studied with Lino to see his hand in their own technique and designs. As I walk through our galleries at The Corning Museum of Glass, I am surrounded by his influence.”

Amy Schwartz, director, The Studio

“Lino has been a generous teacher and mentor to many people working in glass. He is an inspiration to us, sharing many techniques and a brilliant philosophy of life. I’m honored to call Lino my dear friend.”

A packed house came out to see Lino.

Preston Singletary, glass artist and Trustee of The Corning Museum of Glass

“Lino’s influence on the glass world is unparalleled and it’s hard to describe. In the beginning, it was important for us to watch with intent and mimic his moves. Over time we understood the interrelated process of differing techniques. This helped us form the glass with an economy of moves and become better faster. This opened up so many new possibilities for everyone who came in contact with him. 

“I equated learning from Lino to studying Martial Arts. The master demonstrates the technique, and you have to steal the technique with your eyes. You need to learn how to move with the technique and eventually you can execute it flawlessly. Hopefully, at one point you can put your own spirit into it and express it in a unique way. 

“In the end, Lino is so much more than just a Glass Artist, because he is a Master, teacher, family man, cook, and moreover a gentleman. The time I had with Lino, working, traveling, and eating together was always special. I even met my wife on a work trip with him to Scandinavia! In the end, his influence and inspiration are far-reaching and anyone who has ever seen him work can recognize that he is a unique individual and a creative force.”

Doug Heller, co-owner of the Heller Gallery, New York City

“Lino Tagliapietra’s profound impact on the world of glassblowing cannot be overstated. As an inspirationally talented studio artist, his practice stands as an example of what can be accomplished when one is truly dedicated to this craft—it has informed and motivated blowers everywhere. As a generous teacher embodying a millennium-old tradition, the Maestro has imparted skill sets that were typically held within the Muranese community alone. His tutorship has literally changed lives and careers. I have repeatedly met professional glassmakers who after taking a workshop with Lino came away transformed by what they had learned. We all stand on the shoulders of our predecessors, those who have had the opportunity to stand upon the shoulders of this gentle giant of glass have enjoyed a rare privilege indeed.”

Lino, assisted by his team, works on a large body of glass.

Eric Meek, senior manager, Hot Glass Programs, The Corning Museum of Glass

“I was lucky to begin my glassblowing career just after Lino’s first visit to the United States. His impact on the way glassblowers here worked was truly revolutionary. Through his example, glassmaking went from something that was a solo pursuit to something best accomplished through teamwork. This opened up new worlds of scale and creativity.”

James B. Flaws, retired chief financial officer, Corning Incorporated, and vice-chair of the Board of Trustees at The Corning Museum of Glass

“Beyond his majestic and stunning artistry in glass, Lino has brought an incredible generosity of spirit in helping artists, galleries, collectors, and museums.”

Steve Bender, senior business manager, Steuben

“Lino’s contribution to the art of glass is among the top of a very few in the modern era. His mastery of the furnace, the pipe, and the possibilities of the material pushed the envelope each time he commanded a blowing room. We owe him thanks for his work, dedication, and inquisitive expression of objects that showed what’s possible in the art of glass. Lino’s 1998 collaboration with Steuben left indelible memories on the glassworkers who assisted him, memories that will be joyously recounted on the occasion of his retirement.”

Lino applies the finishing touches to one of his signature pieces, entitled Dinosaur.

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