Founded in 1971 by Fritz Dreisbach, Mark Peiser, and William Bernstein, the Glass Art Society was formed out of a desire to bring together the glass community so people could work together and learn from each other.

Our founders decided to emulate the National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), a very influential role model for arts organizations. In the 1960s, most glassblowers were also ceramic artists so they attended NCECA’s annual conferences. At the early NCECA meetings, ceramic and glass artists gathered together to share ideas and tricks, and the GAS founders learned many important aspects of how to successfully operate a craft-media organization.

GAS History Project

The GAS History Project was officially initiated at the 2009 conference in Corning, New York after being mandated by the board in 2005. The goal of the GAS History project is to document the collective knowledge of members of the glass community who have contributed significantly to GAS and to glass arts worldwide. 

Key Dates & Milestones

1971 – 1st Glass Art Society Conference at Penland School of Crafts
1971 – Decision was made to form a nonprofit organization
1976 – First year the Journal is produced as the GAS Newsletter
1989 – First International conference in Toronto, Ontario, CAN and First Glass Fashion Show

International Conference Locations: Toronto, Canada (1989); Mexico City, Mexico (1992); Seto, Japan (1998); Amsterdam, Netherlands (2002); Adelaide, Australia (2005); Murano, Italy (2018); Småland, Sweden (2020)