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 Dominick Labino  (1910 - 1987)

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Lived/Active: Ohio      Known for: sculptor-mod glass

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BIOGRAPHY for Dominick Labino
1910 (Grand Rapids, Ohio)


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sculptor-mod glass

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Dominick Labino was born in Grand Rapids, Ohio in 1910, a fact celebrated by a historical marker there, near Front Street. He was a man of many parts, a classic American inventor, a chemist, employee in industry, painter, sculptor, glass-workerjack of all trades.

During the late 1940s and 1950s, he painted in oil and watercolor, while working in metal casting, wood sculpture and enamel jewelry. In 1963, he began working with hot, blown glass as an art medium, designing and building his own furnaces, annealing ovens, glass-blowing tools and finishing equipment, and his laboratory was equipped for testing the properties of glass. Labino formulated his own glass mixtures, achieving unique colors and visual effects.

He designed an innovative triple-hinged swinging door on his glass-melting furnace that has been copied by other studio glass blowers.

Labino was instrumental in the formation of the Studio Glass Movement in 1962.

Among many articles Labino wrote for technical publications, the Corning Museum of Glass published, in its "Journal of Glass Studies," in 1966, Labino's research into ancient Egyptian glass-making methods. He also wrote the book, "Visual Art in Glass," published in 1968.

During his 40-year career in the glass industry, Labino developed glass formulas, processes and machines for forming glass fibers, glass papers and furnace designs. The Apollo and Gemini spacecraft used three of his glass fibers that manifested extreme temperature insulation properties.

When Labino retired in 1965 from the Johns-Manville Fiber Glass Corporation, he was Vice-President and Director of Research and Development. Labino holds 60 patents in the United States and hundreds in foreign countries. The Phoenix Award for major contributions to the glass industry was given to him in 1977.

Labino's work has been shown in national and international exhibitions, including traveling shows sponsored by the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, Smithsonian Institution, Corning Museum of Glass, Ohio Arts Council and Toledo Museum of Art. His work is represented in 65 museums in the United States and abroad, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. He won major awards.

He had one-man exhibitions at the Corning Museum, New York and Victoria and Albert Museum, London, among others.

He created a glass mural in 1970 for the entrance to the New Glass Gallery at the Toledo Museum of Art. In 1973, Labino made six glass bells to restore a glass harmonica, a musical instrument invented in 1762 by Benjamin Franklin, in the collection of the Boston Museum. In 1974, he made an entire glass harmonica, which was exhibited at the Smithsonian in 1978 1979.

A prize-winning PBS documentary, "Dominick Labino: The Man And His Art," was produced in 1981.

Dominick Labino died in 1987.

Les Krantz, "American Artists, Illustrated Survey of Leading Contemporary Artists"

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