Tributes to Bromsgrove glass man who found fame in New York

By Carl Jackson Saturday 09 March 2013 Updated: 09/03 00:30

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A REMEMBRANCE service has been held for a world renowned glass expert from Bromsgrove who has passed away.

David Whitehouse had a long and illustrious career in the industry which led him to becoming executive director of The Corning Museum of Glass in New York.

He died on February 17, aged 71, following a brief battle with cancer and a gathering was held in his honour at the museum five days later.

Marie McKee, president of the Corning Museum, said: “David was a dedicated leader and a passionate scholar, and he will be sorely missed by his colleagues in Corning and around the world.

“David embodied the museum’s mission to tell the world about glass.

“That mission drove everything that he did, from the founding of the museum’s glass making school to the numerous publications, educational programs and exhibitions that he oversaw.

“We are very grateful to David for making The Corning Museum of Glass the world-class institution it is today.”

The British Glass Foundation also paid tribute to him.

“An understated man of deft touch, and sparkling erudition, he was one of those rare charismatics who effortlessly shine a light ’pon wherever they tread.

“Not only has the realm of glass lost a gifted specialist in the field of Roman cameo glass, the wider world is now considerably the poorer for the premature departure of a truly lovely man.”

David was born in Nottingham, but was bought up in the Wildmoor area of Bromsgrove.

He went to college at King Edwards VI in Birmingham and studied at Cambridge University where he obtained a PhD in Archaeology.

David fast developed a reputation in the field after leading a seven year stint of excavation in Iran from 1966 where millions of artifacts were uncovered.

He joined the Corning Museum of Glass in 1984 becoming a director in 1992, and executive director and curator of ancient and Islamic glass in 1999.

David also served as president of the International Association for the History of Glass for four years up until 1995 and a year later established The Studio glass making school at the Corning Museum.

He departed his role as executive director in 2011 to become one of the museum’s senior scholars.

In August last year David visited Hagley Hall during the International Festival of Glass to celebrate 400 years of Stourbridge Glass.

David is survived by his wife, three children and grandchildren.

Visit for a full tribute to David from The Corning Museum of Glass.

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