There’s Something About Mary…

mary-gregoryMary Gregory (1856–1908) was an American artist known for her paintings of Victorian era children etchings on various coloured glass decoration ranges at the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

  • Originally, Mary along with her sister; and possibly others whom she had trained; created this form of artwork, using a white enamel paint with ground glass as a paint mixture.
  • To bind the paint to the glass, they fired it after application. It was then fused in this manner;  so the painting became part of the glass.

Counter claims suggest that “Mary Gregory” glass work stems from an earlier era and that the term was likely to have derived from marketing hype by the Westmoreland Glass Company of Grapeville, Pennsylvania who began marketing their glass working in the style of “Mary Gregory” in the 1920s; with their artists painting cherubic white silhouettes on black milk glass plates, vases, glass boxes, heart-shaped plates, etc.

  • In the 1970s, the Westmoreland Glass Company painted similar scenes on blanks that they called Blue Mist (a semi-opaque glass with a baby blue tint to it).
  • Many pieces of “Mary Gregory” also show up as Cranberry plates, tumbler sets, goblets, glasses and so on.
  • Since then, similar glass artwork has been produced by literally dozens of glass houses; and some, such as Fenton, continue to this day.

Interested in glassware? see my Decorative Arts – Glass page.

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