Back to the top

Sculptor and glass artist Mary Shaffer was born in Walterboro, South Carolina, in 1947. As a child she lived in South America and her first language was Spanish. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design where she studied illustration and minored in painting. Having a mother who believed strongly in the value of travel as education, she also attended the Ecole d’Humanite in Goldern, Switzerland, for several years.

Shaffer is recognized worldwide as one of the founding artists of the American Studio Glass Movement. In the early 1970s she adapted an auto industry technique for shaping windshield glass into a “mid-air slumping,” process which allowed her to move glass in a particular way as it was heated. She then began mixing glass and metal tools, casting, dipping and slumping glass from objects found in flea markets and junk yards, and innovatively extending her materials to include “light, bronze, steel, stone and glass, water and sound.”

Metropolitan Museum of Art New York NY

Museum of Modern Art; Kyoto Japan

Museum of Art & Design; New York NY

Smithsonian Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art; Washington DC

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Montreal Canada

Huntington Museum; Huntington WV

Museum Bellerive; Zurich Switzerland

Museum of Decorative Arts; Lausanne Switzerland

Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo OH

The Detroit Institute of Arts; Detroit MI

Musee du Verre; Sars-Poteries France

Blumenthal Performing Arts Center; Charlotte NC

Corning Museum of Glass; Corning NY

Palm Beach Community College Museum of Art Palm Beach FL

Stadt Museum; Fraunau West Germany

Glas Museum; Ebeltoft Denmark

Frontrunner Awards for Sara Lee Corporation; Chicago IL

Berman Museum of Art Collegeville PA

The Pappajohn Pavilion; Iowa City Hospital Iowa City IA

U.S. Chancellery in La Paz Bolivia

Indianapolis Museum Indianapolis IN

Minnesota Museum of American Art Saint Paul MN

Grounds for Sculpture Hamilton PA

Rhode Island School of Design Museum Providence RI

Providence Park Department Providence RI

Lowe Museum University of Miami, Miami FL

Palmer Art Museum University Park PA

Katzen Museum American University Washington DC

Imagine Museum, Sarasota FL

Harwood Museum of Art Taos NM

Flint Institute of Art Flint MI

Ringling Museum Sarasota FL

Henry Ford Museum Dearborn MI

Racine Museum Racine WI

Columbus Museum of Art Columbus OH

Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne IN

Latest event

You’re invited! 50TH Annual Exhibition

Saturday, April 30 at 8:00pm

Want to receive invites to the latest Habatat events in your inbox? Sign up here!

close x