Italian maestro Lino Tagliapietra combines traditional Venetian glassblowing with creative experimentation. With over 70 years of experience working with glass, he is internationally renowned for his innovative creations and glass manipulation. The modern master glassmaker is a respected leading figure and even revered as the greatest living glassblower.
Tagliapietra was born in Murano, Venice, Italy, in 1934. At the early age of 11, Tagliapietra began his apprenticeship as a glassblower under the 20th-century master Venetian glassmaker Archimede Seguso. His talent and skill earned him the title of Maestro Vetraio (master glassmaker) at the early age of 21 when he fully mastered age-old glass blowing techniques.
Throughout the late 1960s and 1970s, he worked and developed his designs for the best-known glass companies in Murano, Murano Vetreria Galliano Ferro, and Venini & Co. By 1977 he was the head glassblower for Effetre International. In 1989, Tagliapietra became an independent artist and began exhibiting his work around the world.
Aside from his work for Murano glass factories, Tagliapietra worked as a teacher and mentor. Today, he is the leading figure in the international exchange of glassblowing techniques. More specifically, his collaboration with the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA, in 1979 is considered the catalyst for shaping the identity of American glassblowing and inspiring the American Studio Glass Movement. Additionally, he started a tradition of sharing Venetian traditional glassblowing techniques with young American glass artists. Famously, in the 1980's he collaborated with American glass artists Dale Chihuly and Dan Bailey.
Tagliapietra has been exhibited throughout the United States. Some notable institutions include the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Houston, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Corning Museum of Glass, the Museum of Arts and Design, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Glass, among many others. His glass vessels are part of the collections of more than 50 museums around the world, including the Columbus Museum of Art, the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, the Palm Springs Art Museum, The Renwick Gallery, the Tokyo National Modern Art Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
He has received numerous awards throughout his career, such as the 1997 Glass Art Society Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2009 IIC Lifetime Achievement Award from the Instituto Italiano di Cultura in Los Angeles. Tagliapietra holds two honorary doctorates, an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Center College and an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Ohio State University. His recognition continues, with his most recent award, a medal from Toyama, Japan, received in 2021.
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