About This Exhibition

Richard Marquis: Keepers is a survey exhibition of the art of a towering figure in the Studio Glass movement. The project is a collaboration between WAM and Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington. Vicki Halper, who has worked on several projects with WAM, is the Seattle-based guest curator.

Starting in the 1960s, at the beginning of the Studio Glass movement, and throughout his career, Marquis (born 1945) kept many of his finest and favorite artworks. He calls this treasure trove his “keepers.” Wichita will have over 100 pieces from this collection on view in summer 2021.

As one of the leading artists of the craft renaissance of the 1960s of 1970s, Marquis is internationally recognized for his technical mastery of glass, iconoclastic humor, and sharp intellect.

Along with Harvey Littleton and Dale Chihuly, he has been key to bringing glass from the factory floor to artists’ studios, university art departments, and museum collections.

Marquis absorbed important strains of the funk and fetish finish styles prevalent in California studio ceramics of the 1960s and 1970s, when he was studying clay and glass at the University of California, Berkeley. Funk was a cruder, wittier version of pop art, which embraced consumer culture and was prevalent on the East Coast. Fetish finish brought small-scale abstraction and intricate surfaces to ceramic sculpture.

In 1969, a Fulbright fellowship to Italy allowed Marquis to learn Venetian glass techniques at the storied Venini Factory. There, he became the first American to master the ancient, labor-intensive filigrana and murrine techniques of patterning glass. Marquis, an inveterate collector of odd and cheap objects (e.g. salt shakers, bowling balls, enamel teapots, oil cans, etc.), began to include them in his meticulous, technically astonishing glass constructions.

The artist is collected and admired around the world. The Smithsonian Institution honored him with their Masters of the Medium Award. He’s been honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Glass Art Society and Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass. Distinguished American museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Toledo Museum of Art, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art hold his artwork. Art museums in England, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Australia, and other countries also collect art by the esteemed Richard Marquis.

Colorful fused glass teapot by artist Richard Marquis

Richard Marquis, Ruby Heart Teapot, 1980. Blown glass, murrine technique, 5 x 6 x 5 inches. Collection of Johanna Nitzke Marquis

Colorful glass base with duck on top of it and a dog on the left climbing up the back of the duck

Richard Marquis, Duck and Setter on Striped Cake, 2016. Blown and fused glass, found object, 8 × 13 × 6 1/2 inches. Collection of the artist

Our Generous Sponsors

Light blue blown glass vase on an oversized circular base with clear crystal glass dogs on two sides

Richard Marquis, The Best Waterford Tower, 1998-1999.  Blown glass, murrine technique; Waterford Crystal dogs, 13 × 19 1/2 × 9 in. Collection of the artist

THANK YOU to all of the exhibition sponsors who are making this exhibition possible.

Richard Marquis: Keepers is jointly organized by Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington, and the Wichita Art Museum.

The Wichita presentation of this exhibition has been generously underwritten by presenting sponsor F. Price Cossman Memorial Trust, INTRUST BANK, Trustee.

Additional support has been provided by Mary Eves, Sondra Langel, Emily Bonavia, Dr. Bob and Bunny Broeckelman, DeVore Foundation, Toni and Bud Gates, Sonia Greteman and Chris Brunner, and Sue and Kurt Watson.

2021 exhibitions and public programs are generously supported by the Downing Foundation.

All museum exhibitions receive generous sponsorship from the Friends of the Wichita Art Museum and the City of Wichita.