Marvin Bentley Lipofsky was born September 1, at the Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Illinois. With his parents Henry and Mildred Lipofsky and his younger sister Barbara, he grew up in Barrington, a small town 45 miles northwest of Chicago.
Marvin receives a B.F.A. in industrial design.
In the fall, Marvin began his graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin. He intended to work with both clay and metal. His first class was Harvey Littleton's ceramics course. Littleton began the class by offering the students an opportunity to blow glass for the first time in an American university.
Tombstones: An early series of Marvin's were his "tombstones" — ceramic slabs about three feet tall.
MFA exhibition, featuring primarily ceramic and metal sculpture.
At twenty-six, Marvin joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, Decorative Arts Department. With the help of his six women students, he built the glass furnace and equipment for the class in the new Wurster Hall building.
Begins teaching at the California College of Arts and Crafts (CCAC), Oakland, CA, in addition to UCB.
Poster for the first Great California Glass Symposium. The symposium was held at both UC Berkeley and CCAC with Professor Harvey Littleton and Sybren Valkema from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in the Netherlands as the first guests. Over one hundred guest artists participated during the eighteen-year period that the symposia were held.
Marvin's connection with glass factories began in the United States at the Blenko Glass Factory in Milton, West Virginia.
Marvin began to obscure the surface of the glass artworks he was creating. He experimented with painting, copper electroplating on glass, using rayon flocking, applying decals, mirroring, and fuming metal salts on the hot glass.
In 1970, Marvin was invited to teach at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. While in the Netherlands, he was invited to work at the Royal Leerdam Factory by Willem Heesen, a designer at the factory. He designed pieces and worked with the master glassblower, Leendert van der Linden.
The result of that work was the Leerdam Colour Series 1970, the first of his many collaborations with master glassblowers worldwide.
Marvin was invited to work at the Nuutajärvi Glass Factory in Finland. As he watched the workers blowing glass into molds, he observed the "overblow," a superfluous part that is extruded during the process of blowing the glass into the mold. He remarks: "[T]he afterblow (overblow) that came out the top was always very interesting, very sensual and organic, but of course they would cut this off." He decided to incorporate the "overblow" into his sculpture. The Suomi-Finland Series 1970 was the result of this work in the factory.
Marvin was invited to be a visiting professor at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem. Lipofsky and the students built the equipment including all the glass tools in three weeks.
Working with Serano at the Venini Glass Factory, Murano, Italy.
Working with Maestro Gianni Toso at the Venini Factory, Murano, Italy. His work with Toso resulted in the first Venini Series. He returned to work in Italy in 1975 and 1977.
The Italian masters are the most skilled by far, and they have abilities in creating both small and large objects that far surpass what is commonly done...I was trying to capture the feeling of the Italians, but also trying to use my own way of visualizing things. . . . The Italian color and the Italian technique is so overpowering, it's difficult to try and introduce your own aesthetic, interact, but I tried. . . .
Working at the Nanbu Glass Factory, Osaka, Japan, with Mitsuo and Akiko Yanagihara. This resulted in Nanbu Group 1975.
Through an introduction by Peter Voulkos, Marvin met the sculptor Christopher Wilmarth, a visiting artist at the University of California, Berkeley. Wilmarth, who used plate glass in his sculpture, was invited by Lipofsky to work with his students, resulting in his sculptural series Breathe: Inspired by seven poems of Stéphane Mallarmé.
Serbian Glass Factory, Paracin, Yugoslavia, where the Third International Symposium took place, organized by the Republic Community of Culture. During the symposium Marvin made the series Fragments Jugoslavia Stakla.
Stanislav Libensky invited Marvin to work in at the Crystalex Corporation, Hantich Factory in Novy Bor. Lipofsky was the first American to successfully work in this Eastern bloc country. This is the first time he began to create his own wooden forms to shape the glass. This is Series Crystalex-Hantich, Novy Bor 1982.
Working with Rich Royal and Robbie Miller at the Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, Washington, to create Pilchuck Series 1984. He returned to work at Pilchuck in 1988 and 1997.
Working at International Glass Symposium (IGS) II, Novy Bor, Czechoslovakia. He is the only American artist to have participated in all seven symposia. IGS Series.
IGS II, Crystalex-Hantich Factory, Novy Bor, Czechoslovakia.
Marvin in Czechoslovakia working with the glassmaster Stefan Stefko and team.
Marvin is invited to be a guest artist at the newly opened Pace Wilson Glass Studio, Tulane University, New Orleans. This resulted in the work Newcomb Series 1986.
Teaching at Miasa Bunko Center in Nagano, Japan, with Koji Matano and Makoto Ito. Because the studio was small inside, the students often observed through the studio windows. See Miasa Group 1987.
On his way to the First International Blown Glass Symposium in L'vov, Marvin stops by in Moscow. He returned three more times to L'vov, later renamed L'viv. See the Soviet Series and L'viv.
Women workers grinding Marvin's sculptures at the Experimental Ceramic Sculpture Factory, L'vov, Ukraine, USSR.
Working with Rich Royal and Robbie Miller and team at the Ben Moore Studio, Seattle Washington. See Seattle Series.
Workng at the Humppila Glass Factory with the master glassblower Unto Suominen, resulting in Suomi Finland Series 1990 - 1992.
Marvin with glass sculptures created at the Dalian Shengdao Glass Factory, China. He returned to work in China again in 1999. See China Group and China Group II.
I used colors available in the factory, and the work ended up primarily red. I also incorporated small bits of color, representing the many different peoples of China. I tried to incorporate a feel of the mountains that were quite different in shape than any other mountains I'd ever seen.
Working with students at Centre College, Danville, KY. This resulted in the Kentucky Series.
Marvin working with glassmaster Petr Novotny at Bild-werk, Frauenau, Germany. See Frauenau Group 2000.
Working at the Denizen Glass Studio, North Manly, Australia, with Tom Rowney, et al. to create Australian Landscape Series 2004.
Kangaroo Valley, Australia.
Marvin was invited again to come to the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design to work with the glass students. Bezalel Group 2005-6.
Invited to participate in the250th Anniversary Symposium of Gus-Khrustanly Glass Factory in Russia. Two of the sculptures remained with the factory collection. The remaining 10 sculptures can be seen here.
Marvin participated as a Resident Artist at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma Washington. For a short video and more photos of the event, visit the Museum's web site.