What is it?
David Huchthausen (b. Wisconsin Rapids 1951)
7 1/2 x 5 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.
Gifted 2021, James and Karen Hyde
About the Work
Today a respected and prolific member of Seattle’s glass community, David Huchthausen made his most enduring contributions to the Studio movement during its early years. A consultant to the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin from 1976 to 1995, he served as the catalyst behind its landmark 1978, 1981, and 1984 Americans in Glass exhibitions. Initiated to showcase current developments in American Studio Glass, in retrospect, this trilogy of shows documented the movement’s reorientation from a technique-based, hot-glass focus to a more conceptual, sculptural point of view.
In the late 1970s, Huchthausen created some of the best blown glass of the period. The fifty or so monumental, multilayered vessels that he made over four years beginning in 1975 were unprecedented. Begun during a short-term teaching stint at Illinois State University–Normal, they comprise brilliantly colored graphics cased between layers of clear glass and areas of trapped air bubbles. Huchthausen remembers that some took over six hours to make at the furnace with the help of an assistant. They depict a variety of landscapes ranging from autumn trees to rolling fields. Those referencing Austrian mountaintops, which Huchthausen fabricated in 1977–78 while working on a Fulbright-Hays grant at the J. & L. Lobmeyr factory in Baden near Vienna, remain the best known. Many are now in museum collections along with his subsequent groundbreaking “Leitungs Scherben” series of the early 1980s.
Landscape Study is one of probably four blown forms in which the artist captured his recollections of a forest ravaged by wildfire. Using glass rods to create the imagery, Huchthausen portrays the eerie pinkish sky, smoldering brush, and charred leafless trees and branches that tell the story of this natural disaster.—Davira S. Taragin