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Biography: Miriam E. Mucha

Miriam E. Mucha

Miriam E. Mucha, special assistant in the American Art Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, received the 1987 Rakow Grant for Glass Research, awarded by The Corning Museum of Glass.

Mucha's project concerned the method of manufacture of French pressed tablewares produced between 1825 and 1848. Preliminary research showed that, while the outward appearance of American and French pressed glass of this period is similar, the manufacturing technologies employed were different. She gathered evidence to support her theory that French factories produced hollow ware using a piston or bellows rather than a plunger press.

Because firsthand study of samples was essential to the project, her research took her to France and Belgium, where she visited the factories of Saint-Louis, Baccarat, and Val-Saint-Lambert. These were the most significant European glassworks in the production of pressed glass during this period. Mucha, who also studied museum pressed glass collections as part of her project, intended to publish her findings in a book.

Mucha is well known to American glass collectors and students. She has been president of The National Early American Glass Club and a director of the advisory board of The Creative Glass Center of America (Millville, New Jersey). She is a trustee of the Jones Gallery of Glass and Ceramics (Douglas Hill, Maine), and she has lectured on glass at The Corning Museum of Glass, The National Capital Glass Seminars, and the Portland (Maine) Museum of Art.