Thomas Scharman Buechner (pronounced BEAK-ner; September 25, 1926 – June 13, 2010) was an aspiring artist who turned to working at museums, who became the founding director of the Corning Museum of Glass and director of the Brooklyn Museum, where he oversaw a major transformation in its operation and displays.
The Corning Museum of Glass is a museum in Corning, New York dedicated to the art, history and science of glass. It was founded in 1951 by Corning Glass Works and currently has a collection of more than 50,000 glass objects, some over 3,500 years old.
The Brooklyn Museum is an art museum located in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. At 560,000 square feet (52,000 m2), the museum is New York City's third largest in physical size and holds an art collection with roughly 1.5 million works.
Buechner was born in Manhattan on September 25, 1926. He was raised in Bronxville, New York and attended the Lawrenceville School in Lawrence Township, Mercer County, New Jersey. After completing high school he was assigned to attend a training program at Princeton University as part of his service in the United States Navy. After completing his military service he spent a year working for the Puerto Rico tourism board so that he could learn the Spanish language. He came back to New York City, working as a night elevator operator at the Plaza Hotel while he studied at the Art Students League of New York.He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and under M.M. van Dantzig in Amsterdam. After studying painting in Europe, he returned to the United States and took a position as an assistant manager at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a way to have a career in art without being an artist.
Manhattan, often referred to locally as the City, is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City and its economic and administrative center, cultural identifier, and historical birthplace. The borough is coextensive with New York County, one of the original counties of the U.S. state of New York. The borough consists mostly of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers; several small adjacent islands; and Marble Hill, a small neighborhood now on the U.S. mainland, physically connected to the Bronx and separated from the rest of Manhattan by the Harlem River. Manhattan Island is divided into three informally bounded components, each aligned with the borough's long axis: Lower, Midtown, and Upper Manhattan.
Bronxville is a village in Westchester County, New York, located about 15 miles (24 km) north of midtown Manhattan. It is part of the town of Eastchester. The village comprises 1 square mile (2.5 km2) of land in its entirety, approximately 20% of the town of Eastchester. As of the 2010 U.S. census, Bronxville had a population of 6,323. In 2016, Bronxville was rated the number one most expensive suburb around America's ten largest cities by CNBC with a median home value of $2.33 million. In 2017, it was ranked 8th in Bloomberg's "America's 100 Richest Places". It was ranked 8th once again in the same Bloomberg ranking in 2018.
The Lawrenceville School is a coeducational, independent college preparatory boarding school for students in ninth through twelfth grades including a post-graduate year as well. The school is located on 700 acres (280 ha) in the historic Lawrenceville section of Lawrence, in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States.
In 1951, he was named as the founding director of the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York which he created as a place where historic and modern glass works were displayed. Many of the exhibits he developed went on tour to other museums around the country. He established the Journal of Glass Studies , which covers the history of glassmaking to the mid-20th century and New Glass Review , "an annual survey of glass in contemporary art, architecture, craft, and design".
Corning is a city in Steuben County, New York, United States, on the Chemung River. The population was 11,183 at the 2010 census. It is named for Erastus Corning, an Albany financier and railroad executive who was an investor in the company that developed the community. The city is best known as the headquarters of Fortune 500 company Corning Incorporated, formerly Corning Glass Works, a manufacturer of glass and ceramic products for industrial, scientific and technical uses.
He was named as director of the Brooklyn Museum in 1960, making him, at 33, one of the youngest museum directors in the country.There he oversaw a program in which the museum's storage and display standards were upgraded, and many of the thousand works that had been languishing in storage were placed on view to the public. A sculpture garden he created displayed such items as capitals from Louis Sullivan's Bayard-Condict Building. He rescued sculptures by Daniel Chester French representing Brooklyn and Manhattan which had sat at the Brooklyn plaza of the Manhattan Bridge and that were removed as part of construction on the bridge's approaches, and placed them at the entrance to the museum. Buechner requested that the city give the sculptures to the museum after they were threatened with destruction as part of a project to connect the bridge to expressways on either side of the East River.
Louis Henry Sullivan was an American architect, and has been called the "father of skyscrapers" and "father of modernism". He is considered by many as the creator of the modern skyscraper, was an influential architect and critic of the Chicago School, was a mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright, and an inspiration to the Chicago group of architects who have come to be known as the Prairie School. Along with Wright and Henry Hobson Richardson, Sullivan is one of "the recognized trinity of American architecture". The phrase "Form follows function" is attributed to him, although he credited the origin of the concept to an ancient Roman architect. In 1944, Sullivan was the second architect to posthumously receive the AIA Gold Medal.
Daniel Chester French, one of the most prolific and acclaimed American sculptors of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, is best known for his design of the monumental work the statue of Abraham Lincoln (1920) in the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC.
The Manhattan Bridge is a suspension bridge that crosses the East River in New York City, connecting Lower Manhattan at Canal Street with Downtown Brooklyn at the Flatbush Avenue Extension. The main span is 1,470 ft (448 m) long, with the suspension cables being 3,224 ft (983 m) long. The bridge's total length is 6,855 ft (2,089 m). It is one of four toll-free bridges spanning the East River; the other three are the Queensboro, Williamsburg, and Brooklyn Bridges.
He was hired by Corning Glass in 1971, where he served as president of the firm's Steuben Glass division from 1973 to 1982 and headed the Glass Museum there from 1973 to 1980. He retired from Corning in 1987 and devoted his time to painting, including a portrait of Alice Tully that is on display in the foyer of Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall.Lincoln Center had commissioned Buechner to paint the full-length portrait in honor of Tully's 85th birthday.
Alice Bigelow Tully was an American singer of opera and recital, music promoter, patron of the arts and philanthropist from New York. She was a second cousin of the American actress Katharine Hepburn.
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is a 16.3-acre (6.6-hectare) complex of buildings in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It hosts many notable performing arts organizations, which are nationally and internationally renowned, including the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera.
Alice Tully Hall is a concert hall at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Upper West Side, Manhattan, New York City. It is named for Alice Tully, a New York performer and philanthropist whose donations assisted in the construction of the hall. Tully Hall is located within the Juilliard Building, a Brutalist structure, which was designed by renowned architect Pietro Belluschi, and completed and opened in 1969. Since its opening, it has hosted numerous performances and events, including the New York Film Festival. Tully Hall seats 1,086 patrons.
Buechner died of lymphoma at age 83 on June 13, 2010, in his home in Corning, New York. He was survived by his wife, the former Mary Hawkins, as well as by a daughter, two sons and seven grandchildren.
Lymphoma is a group of blood cancers that develop from lymphocytes. The name often refers to just the cancerous versions rather than all such tumors. Signs and symptoms may include enlarged lymph nodes, fever, drenching sweats, unintended weight loss, itching, and constantly feeling tired. The enlarged lymph nodes are usually painless. The sweats are most common at night.
Wallace Kirkman Harrison was an American architect. Harrison started his professional career with the firm of Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray, participating in the construction of Rockefeller Center. He is best known for executing large public projects in New York City and upstate, many of them a result of his long and fruitful personal relationship with Nelson Rockefeller, for whom he served as an adviser.
Long Island City (LIC) is a residential and commercial neighborhood located on the extreme western tip of Queens, New York City, at the western edge of Long Island. It is bordered by Astoria to the north; the East River to the west; Hazen Street, 49th Street, and New Calvary Cemetery in Sunnyside to the east; and Newtown Creek—which separates Queens from Greenpoint, Brooklyn—to the south. The area is part of Queens Community Board 1 to the north and Queens Community Board 2 to the south.
The Williamsburg Bridge is a suspension bridge in New York City across the East River connecting the Lower East Side of Manhattan at Delancey Street with the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn at Broadway near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. It once carried New York State Route 27A and was planned to carry Interstate 78, though the planned I-78 designation was aborted by the cancellation of the Lower Manhattan Expressway and Bushwick Expressway.
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is an art museum beside the National Mall, in Washington, D.C., the United States. The museum was initially endowed during the 1960s with the permanent art collection of Joseph H. Hirshhorn. It was designed by architect Gordon Bunshaft and is part of the Smithsonian Institution. It was conceived as the United States' museum of contemporary and modern art and currently focuses its collection-building and exhibition-planning mainly on the post–World War II period, with particular emphasis on art made during the last 50 years.
Austin Joseph Tobin was an American businessman who served as the executive director of the Port of New York Authority, the precursor to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, from 1942 until 1972.
Albert Paley is an American modernist metal sculptor. Initially starting out as a jeweler, Paley has become one of the most distinguished and influential metalsmiths in the world. Within each of his works, three foundational elements stay true: the natural environment, the built environment, and the human presence. Paley is the first metal sculptor to have received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Architects. He currently lives and works in Rochester, New York with his wife, Frances.
Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová are contemporary artists. Their works are included in many major modern art collections, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Erwin Eisch is a German artist who works with glass. He is also a painter, draughtsman and printmaker. With that of his friend and colleague in glass, Harvey Littleton, Eisch's work in glass embodies the ideas of the international Studio Glass movement. Along with glass artists Sam Herman and Sybren Valkema, Eisch is considered a founder of Studio Glass in Europe.
The Whitehall Terminal is a ferry terminal in South Ferry section of Lower Manhattan, New York City, at the corner of South Street and Whitehall Street. It is used by the Staten Island Ferry, which connects the island boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island. The Whitehall Terminal is one of the ferry's terminals, the other being St. George Terminal on Staten Island.
Karen LaMonte is an American artist known for her life-size sculptures in ceramic, bronze and cast glass as well as her large scale monotype prints.
Ivan C. Karp was an American art dealer, gallerist and author instrumental in the emergence of pop art and the development of Manhattan's SoHo gallery district in the 1960s.
Forrest W. Myers is an American sculptor. He is best known for his pieces Moon Museum (1969) and The Wall (1973), the latter being a monumental wall sculpture in the SoHo, Manhattan neighborhood of New York City. His large steel Untitled from 1969-1970 is included in the outdoor plaza at The Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza Art Collection in Albany, New York.
The Williamsburg Bridge Plaza, sometimes called Washington Plaza or the Williamsburg Bridge Transit Center, is a major bus terminal and former trolley terminal located at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, one block west of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (I-278). It is situated by the boundaries of Broadway, Havemeyer Street, Roebling Street and South 5th Street, south of the LaGuardia Playground. It contains six bus lanes and serves as a terminal for the many MTA New York City Transit Authority bus routes of Brooklyn and Queens that start and end their runs there.
The Rockwell Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate museum of American art located in the Finger Lakes region in downtown Corning, New York. Frommer's describes it as "one of the best-designed small museums in the Northeast." In 2015, The Rockwell Museum was named a Smithsonian Affiliate, the first in New York State outside of New York City.