Tom McGlauchlin – “20 North / 30 Years”

Tom McGlauchlin
Toledo, Ohio (b. 1934 – d. 2011)

Tom McGlauchlin at 20 North Gallery
Tom McGlauchlin at 20 North Gallery

Artist Biography
Tom McGlauchlin was one of the leading figures in the Studio Glass Movement, from its founding workshops in 1962 at the Toledo Museum of Art (Ohio), until his death in 2011. In 1961, as an instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he taught Harvey K. Littleton’s pottery classes while Littleton was on leave researching glass blowing. The next year, he and Littleton launched the Studio Glass Movement, becoming renowned as great art innovators of the age. McGlauchlin continued in Toledo as a professor and director of The University of Toledo and Toledo Museum of Art Joint Glass Program from 1971-1984, after founding the Glass Program at the University of Iowa (Iowa City)—as an expert in the new media of studio glass—after his initial 8-hour share of blowing time at that first studio glass workshop.

As a professional artist working in glass, Tom McGlauchlin’s work has been avidly collected by individuals, museums and communities for many years, with pieces both private and public in scale. His sculpture commissions in the Toledo area include Clouds of Joy, a hanging central sculpture of glass and stainless steel in the lobby of the Four SeaGate Building for Toledo Edison Company; A Mountain for Toledo, in the lobby of the downtown convention center, SeaGate Centre; and A Free Verse in Color, a hanging glass sculpture located at Bowling Green State University (Ohio). Over the five decades of his glass art career, Mr. McGlauchlin participated in group and solo glass exhibitions throughout the world from the 1960s until the final days of his life.

Tom McGlauchlin’s work is included in numerous permanent collections in national and international institutions such as the Corning Museum of Glass (New York); The Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C.); Portland Art Museum (Oregon); Kunstmuseum Duesseldorf (Germany); Musee des Arts Decoratifs (Lausanne, Switzerland); The National Museum of Modern Art (Kyoto, Japan); Racine Museum of Art (Wisconsin); Museum of Arts and Design (New York, New York), Ohio Craft Museum (Columbus, Ohio); New Orleans Museum of Art (Louisiana); Minnesota Museum of Art (St. Paul); and the Toledo Museum of Art—among many others.

In 2011, Tom McGlauchlin passed away in Toledo, where he had maintained his own studio. In June 2012, his work was the focus of the Tom & Friends: A Tribute to McGlauchlin’s Legacy in Glass exhibit at 20 North Gallery. Originally planned by McGlauchlin to be a solo exhibit of his newest work, this exhibition became instead a memorial retrospective, held in conjunction with the international Glass Art Society (GAS) conference in Toledo (Ohio), celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Studio Glass Movement and honoring McGlauchlin’s monumental contributions within it. This exhibit showcased McGlauchlin’s artwork alongside that of his colleagues, students and friends. The exhibit received international recognition as both a loving tribute and thorough survey of the development of the Studio Glass Movement. During his lifetime, McGlauchlin exhibited in numerous 20 North Gallery shows, such as Glass Month (1996, 1997), Contemporary Glass Toledo (2000), Contemporary Glass (2004), The Studio Glass Movement: The First Generation – Tom McGlauchlin & Jack Schmidt (2005) and his 2009 solo exhibition New Art: Tom McGlauchlin, which resulted in several pieces being purchased later that year for the collection of Sir Elton John.

For many years, McGlauchlin mentored Condessa Croninger in glass connoisseurship, through the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo’s Hot Glass committee—Croninger would go on to become 20 North Gallery’s current Art Director, utilizing in her field as an art educator and arts administrator what she learned from McGlauchlin about the medium of glass.  20 North Gallery is honored to have been selected by McGlauchlin’s widow and artistic executrix to represent his remaining primary market artworks in stable representation.

To learn more about Tom McGlauchlin’s artistic career and professional history, visit his page at the Smithsonian American Art Museum website at

Artist Raison de Être
Later Work
From 1984 onward, Tom McGlauchlin worked in several different directions. His major focus was investigating— through drawings of soft pastel on blown glass sculpture—abstractions of the human face as an indication of the human condition in all of its humor and tragedy. He also explored those same concepts in hand-made paper and digital prints.

In 2004, McGlauchlin began working with fused glass in a variety of techniques, still investigating the human condition as seen in abstractions of the human face. His last completed works were of his largescale, fused, flat glass series.

Tom McGlauchlin’s previous 20 North Gallery exhibits:

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