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Biography: Henry Halem

a man in glasses smiles at the camera while wearing a denim shirt
Henry Halem

Henry Halem holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, an MFA from George Washington University, and he did post graduate work at the University of Wisconsin as an assistant to Harvey Littleton in 1968. Halem founded the glass program at Kent State University (KSU) and taught there for 29 years. He was one of the founders of the Glass Art Society and served as its first president. 

Halem’s body of work ranges from his early blown vessels to Vitrolite glass collages, glass castings to enameled and painted glass wall panels. His narrative boxes have been described as "... ordinary glass boxes filled with extraordinary things."* He is known for powerful responses to political events – the 1970 Kent State shootings, 9/11, and a memorial for American soldiers who died in Iraq. 

Halem has exhibited extensively throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan. His work is in the permanent collections of The Corning Museum of Glass, Cleveland Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Toledo Museum, Detroit Institute of Art, High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Hokkaido & Niijima Museums in Japan, and the Decorative Arts Museum, Prague. He has been honored by the Glass Art Society and the American Crafts Council; he received the Governor’s Award from the State of Ohio as well as the President’s Medal for Outstanding Achievement from KSU. 

*"Shimmering Surrealism: Leading glass artist Henry Halem shatters convention," by Margaret Regan, Tucson Weekly, Feb. 12, 2015