Wilson, Kenneth M. (1921 or 1922 (date of birth) - 2005 (date of death))
- Existence: 1921 or 1922 (date of birth) - 2005 (date of death) - 2005
Kenneth M. (Morley) Wilson, author, lecturer, and glass historian grew up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He completed a four-year machinist apprenticeship at the Bethlehem Steel Company. He served with the U.S. Army during World War II and was in Europe. After returning home, he earned degrees in fine arts at Lehigh University and the University of Pennsylvania.
In 1951, he joined the Delaware State Museum. From 1955 to 1963, he was assistant curator, curator, and chief curator at Old Sturbridge Village. In 1963, he moved to Corning and was curator, assistant director, and chief curator at The Corning Museum of Glass for the next ten years. From 1973 to 1985, he became director of collections and preservation at the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. In 1987, he retired from there as senior curator of American decorative arts. He was a fellow of the American Institute of Conservation and an Honorary Fellow of The Corning Museum of Glass. He is the author of “Glass in New England,” 1959, and “New England Glass and Glassmaking,” 1972. He also co-authored “American Bottles and Flasks and Their Ancestry” with Helen McKearin in 1978, and his two-volume catalog of the American glass collection of The Toledo Museum of Art was published by that museum and Hudson Hills Press in 1994.
In 1956, Kenneth met Robert Bryden, the last manager of the Gundersen-Pairpoint Glass Company, a descendant firm of the Mt. Washington Glass Works. Mr. Bryden supplied Kenneth with documentary material and encouraged Kenneth to write an article about the factory. The article appeared in the July 1958 issue of “The Magazine Antiques.” Preparation for this article prompted Kenneth to consider the publication of a book on Mt. Washington. Kenneth decided to publish “Mt Washington and Pairpoint Glass” in 2 volumes. Volume 1 was published in 2005. Kenneth was past president of The National American Glass Club and the New York State Craftsmen. He wrote numerous articles on American glass during his career and in his earlier years, was also a craftsman who produced glass paperweights, glass sculpture and jewelry. He received an award in 2000 from the Richards Foundation and The Corning Museum of Glass for research on American glass. Kenneth also received the Purple Heart after nearly dying of wounds from machine-gun fire during World War II.