CMoG adds bust honoring Masonic Cathedral donor
Mar 16, 2010
By Jeffery Smith
The bronze facial bust of Frank B. Hower, the major donor of funds for the Masonic Cathedral on Walnut Street, was created by Carder in 1931.
The bust was recently purchased from the Masonic Cathedral by Marshall Ketchum, a member of the Carder Steuben Club, who recently loaned the piece to the Frederick Carder Gallery at the museum.
“I just think it belongs in Corning,” Ketchum, an Arizona native who owns a summer house on Cayuga Lake, said recently. “I purchased it from the Masonic Cathedral and have agreed to a long-term loan with the Corning Museum of Glass. Eventually, I plan to donate it.”
Contents of the Masonic Cathedral were sold during an auction in 2008, when the cathedral relocated to a smaller building on Reynolds Avenue.
“We loaned the bronze sculpture to the Corning Museum of Glass until a buyer could be found,” Frank Hamm, a trustee at the Masonic Lodge of Perfection, said Monday.
Several months after the 2008 auction, local Historian Tom Dimitroff contacted Ketchum about possibly purchasing the bronze bust. “For months I was trying to find a home for the bronze bust, and luckily a fellow from Arizona, (Ketchum) recently bought the piece and is giving it to Corning Museum of Glass,” Dimitroff said. “I feel it’s a part of the history of Corning.”
“It was in the lobby of the cathedral since the 1930s and we didn’t auction it off,” Hamm said. “We wanted to try to make sure it would stay here in Corning. Luckily that was accomplished.”
Jane Spillman, curator of American Glass at CMoG, said the bronze bust, recently placed in the back of the Carder Gallery, is a great addition.
“It’s really nice to have a bronze sculpture along with all of the glass work we have here at the Frederick Carder Gallery,” Spillman said. “Carder was a very versatile artist.”
The Carder Gallery features about 3,000 pieces the iconic artist created in his distinguished career in glassmaking, extending from 1880 to the 1950s.
The gallery displays early pieces, hundreds of the objects he designed when he managed Steuben Glass Works between 1903 and 1933, and some works he created later in his career.
Carder first moved to Corning from England in 1903 at the invitation of Thomas G. Hawkes, owner of Steuben Glass Works.
For the next 30 years, he had a free hand in designing the firm’s products and developing new colors and techniques.
In 1932, when Steuben’s new president decided to concentrate on colorless glass, Carder left Steuben to become design director of Corning Glass Works.