American Glass: The Collections at Yale


John Stuart Gordon

Glass can be decorative or utilitarian and its forms often reflect technological innovations and social change. Drawing on an insightful selection from the Yale University Art Gallery and other collections at Yale, American Glass illuminates the vital and often intimate roles that glass has played in the nation’s art and culture. Spectacularly illustrated, the publication showcases 18th-century mold-blown vessels, 19th-century pressed glass, innovative studio work, and luminous stained-glass windows by John La Farge and Louis Comfort Tiffany, the latter reproduced as a lush gatefold. These are considered alongside beguiling objects that broaden our expectations of glass and speak to the centrality of the medium in American life, including one of the oldest complex microscopes in the United States, an early Edison light bulb, glass-plate photography, jewelry, and more. With an essay on the history of collecting American glass and discussions of each object that present new scholarship, this engaging book tells the long and rich history of glass in America—from prehistoric minerals to contemporary sculptures.


Exceptionally good photographs … A fine history of American glass. —Lita Solis-Cohen, Maine Antique Digest

John Stuart Gordon’s book, covering centuries of glass objects, recounts a history of manufacture, taste, and style. —Brian T. Allen, Art Newspaper

Past, present and future come together in Gordon’s imaginative new book “American Glass.” —Laura Beach, Antiques and the Arts Weekly

Conveyed through 155 objects, blown, pressed, and stained, “American Glass” tells the story of culture in translucent miniature. —James Panero, New Criterion