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Constance Stuart Larrabee Steuben Exhibition Photographs and Documents

Identifier: MS-0090

Scope and Contents

The Constance Stuart Larrabee Steuben Exhibition Photographs and Documents consists of photographic prints, negatives and contact prints, correspondence, invoices, and ephemera, most of which pertain to her exhibitions of Steuben factory photographs, titled “A Photo-Documentary Exhibit of Steuben Glass” and “The Silent Harmony of Hand and Mind.” Photographs in this exhibition were taken in 1957, and the exhibition was displayed in Philadelphia in 1959, at the Corning Glass Center and other venues through the 1960s, and in 1981 at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.

The photographic prints, negatives, and contact prints are numbered so that a print can be matched to its corresponding negative and contact print. Individual Steuben workers depicted in the photographs are not identified. Only a few photographic prints are cataloged individually. The rest are grouped by number and subject. Not every negative in the collection has a corresponding print. Also, the negatives are mislabeled with the date 1956. Documentary evidence in the collection clearly indicates that Larrabee photographed the Steuben factory in 1957.

The correspondence and invoices are in chronological order. Most of the correspondence is related to coordinating Larrabee’s visit to Steuben Glass in Corning, New York, to photograph Steuben workers. Invoices are related to the transportation and lodging, as well as the cost of the photographs themselves and Larrabee’s fee.

Other materials include lists of photographs, numbered and with captions; exhibition announcements; biographies of some of the Steuben designers and managers; magazine articles related to Steuben Glass. The collection also includes photographs of the Houghton family’s Wye Plantation on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.


  • 1957-1999
  • Majority of material found within 1957-1962


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for public research. Researchers must make an appointment to view this collection.

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.

Biographical / Historical

Born Constance Stuart in England in 1914, she grew up in Pretoria, South Africa. Larrabee established her reputation in the 1930s by photographing the Bushmen and Transkei peoples, as well as taking portraits of the white South African elite. Perhaps her most dramatic role, however, came during her time as a war photographer. Larrabee was “embedded” with the South African Sixth Armored Division as they participated in the liberation of Europe during World War II. Traveling alongside the troops, she sometimes found herself under fire. Her photographs from South Africa and the war have been exhibited at galleries and museums like the National Museum of African Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art. After the war, she married Colonel Sterling Larrabee and settled in Chestertown, Maryland.

Despite Larrabee’s abilities with the camera, she is not that well known. Whether this is due to the fact that Larrabee was a woman, because she did not seek attention, or because she did not participate in many exhibits, is open to interpretation. However, Larrabee’s images have long been appreciated by those fortunate enough to see them. While Larrabee is most well known for her photographs of South African peoples, white South African elite, and soldiers and civilians during World War II, she also did some excellent work at Steuben Glass in the late 1950s. After moving to Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Larrabee came into contact with Arthur Houghton Jr., longtime president of Steuben Glass. The two struck up an acquaintanceship and Houghton eventually convinced Larrabee to come to Corning in 1957 to photograph workers at Steuben Glass. The images she took in the factory eventually became the foundation for an exhibition known variously as “A Photo-Documentary Exhibit of Steuben Glass” and “The Silent Harmony of Hand and Mind” (1959).

Larrabee’s photographs have been displayed at the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art, and the Corcoran Gallery.


1.5 Linear Feet (3 Hollinger Boxes)

Separated Materials

The Art of Steuben Vol.3 (1977) was separated from this collection.

Constance Stuart Larrabee Steuben Exhibition Photographs and Documents, 1956-1962
A Guide to the Collection
Joe Schill and Colleen McFarland Rademaker
August 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The Rakow Research Library Manuscript Collection Repository

The Rakow Research Library
The Corning Museum of Glass
Five Museum Way
Corning NY 14830 USA