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Paul Marioni Collection

Identifier: MS-0099
The Paul Marioni Collection primarily contains materials documenting his more than 30-year career as a glass artist, including information on commissions, exhibitions, grants and scholarships, awards and certificates, workshops presented and attended, conference agendas, clippings and articles and correspondence, both business-related and personal. The collection also includes one box of family letters and photographs dating from Marioni’s early childhood in the 1940s through the 1980s.

The collection is divided into four series: Personal Papers; Original Artwork; Ephemera; and Publications. Personal Papers and Ephemera are arranged chronologically.

The Original Artwork series contains design drawings for commissions and architectural installations, some in collaboration with Ann Troutner.

The Ephemera series contains brochures, exhibition catalogs, gallery cards, invitations, clippings and articles collected by Marioni of his own work, as well as on other artists from the early 1970s through 2013.

The Publications series consists of one box of periodicals and clippings collected by the artist over the years on various topics.


  • Circa 1940-2013


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The user agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rakow Research Library against all claims, demands, costs and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of Library materials.


26 Boxes

44.5 Linear Feet

Biographical / Historical

Paul Marioni was born in Cincinnati, OH in 1941; his father was a doctor, his mother a singer, although she rarely sang professionally. He had three brothers, two of which also became artists. Marioni was interested in history, literature and poetry, but with an aptitude in math, his Catholic high school encouraged him to pursue engineering. Marioni joined the engineering program at the University of Dayton, Ohio the first year of college, later enrolling at the University of Cincinnati. In the early 1960s he moved to San Francisco to indulge his love of poetry, and began studying English literature at San Francisco State. His contemporary literature study led to an interest in philosophy, and he began to take philosophy classes. Eventually, Marioni transferred back to the University of Cincinnati to study with Van Meter Ames, Chair of the philosophy department. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1967 with degrees in Philosophy and English. After graduation, Marioni lived in Cincinnati for several years, where he married and started a family. He began rebuilding and working on cars as a young teenager, and continued to support himself and his family this way. It was during this time that he decided to become an artist.

In 1969, the family moved to San Francisco, where Marioni studied film with independent filmmaker Robert Nelson, and in 1970 he starred in a Nelson film titled Rest in Pieces. In 1972, Marioni created the award-winning film Hole, which was shown throughout the United States, and continues to garner attention today.

The same year Marioni appeared in Rest in Pieces, he met stained glass artist Judy Raffael, who recognized him from the film. He had previously seen and liked a glass installation of hers, and the two became friends. Raffael’s influence, and Marioni’s newly discovered interest in light, reflection and refraction piqued his interest in working with glass. His first exhibition was at the John Bolles Gallery in San Francisco in 1971. Cecile McCann, editor of Artweek, wrote a two-page review on Marioni, which jump-started his art career.

By the late 1970s, Marioni had developed an innovative technique for fusing color into stained glass, eliminating the traditional leading between panes, and integrating designs and imagery into molten glass, which was then hand-blown.

Marioni describes his work as painted sculpture. It is figurative and surreal, often inspired by dreams, and revolves around human nature and emotion. He says he does not have a message, striving instead to “make people think rather than telling them what to think,” and weaves his political and social philosophy into his work.

The Seattle-based artist’s works appear in numerous collections and permanent installations in the United States and around the world, including the American Craft Museum, New York, NY; The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY; the Glasmuseum Frauenau, Frauenau, Germany, King County Public Art, Seattle, WA; the Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA; the Oakland Art Museum, Oakland, CA; the Smithsonian, National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; and the Yamaha Corporation, Tokyo, Japan.

Marioni’s teaching experience includes institutions such as the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA; the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, NC; San Francisco State University and the San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA; and the California College of Art and Crafts in Oakland, CA, and the Glass Furnace in Istanbul, Turkey.

Marioni completed more than 100 public commissions and private commissions, some in collaboration with artist Ann Troutner. Examples of his work can be seen in the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, New York, NY; the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; Das Bild in Glas, Hessisches Landesmuseu, Darmstadt, Germany; Stanford University, Stanford, CA; The Pier 69 Headquarters, Port of Authority, Seattle, WA; Washington State Liquor Board, Seattle, WA; and Dallas Love Field Airport, Dallas, TX.

Over the course of his career, Marioni created more than 50 exhibitions, including New Glass: A Worldwide Survey (1978 – 82), World Tour, at The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY; Craft Today: Poetry of the Physical, American Craft Museum, New York, NY; 3rd International Symposium, Stolzle-Oberglas, Barnbach, Austria; Clearly Art, Twelve Museums National Tour; Calido!: Contemporary Warm Glass, Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ; Trashformations: Recycled Materials, Twelve Museum National Tour; American Studio Glass: A Survey of the Movement, Fairfield Art Museum, Fairfield, CT; The Premonition, Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA; and All Over the Place, Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA to highlight just a few.

Marioni received many awards and grants for his work, including two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grants (1976 and 1982) and a Building Arts Fellowship (1982); he was made an Honorary Life Member of the BC Glass Arts Association in Canada (1975); a Fellow of the American Crafts Council (1976); received the Silver Award for his Kristallnacht Project (1992); First Prize in the Pacific Northwest Annual (1993) at the Bellevue Art Museum; a John H. Hauberg Fellowship (2001) at the Pilchuck Glass School; a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Glass Art Society (2004); and the Pilchuck Glass School’s Libensky Award (2009).

Marioni has two children, Dante and Marina. He and his wife divorced in the early 1970s after seven years together, and Marioni raised the children himself. Both Dante and Marina work with their father. To mark the 50th anniversary of the studio glass movement in 2012, the family created a joint exhibition for the Tacoma Art Museum titled The Marioni Family: Radical Experimentation in Glass and Jewelry.

Custodial History

Gift of Paul Marioni, 2013
Paul Marioni Collection, circa 1940-2013
A Guide to the Collection
Mary Anne Hamblen
June 2016
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rakow Manuscript Collections Repository

Rakow Research Library
Corning Museum of Glass
5 Museum Way
Corning NY 14830 USA