Michael Higgins

Before he immigrated to the United States in 1939, London-born artist Michael Higgins (1908–1999) studied at the London Central School of Arts and Crafts. In 1947, Higgins was appointed head of visual design at the Chicago Institute of Design. There he met his future wife, Frances Stewart, then a graduate student. The two married in 1948 and founded the Higgins Studio, which specialized in enameling, slumping, and laminating sheet glass to produce decorative plates and other tableware. The Higginses sold their own design lines nationwide through department and specialty stores; they also designed for Dearborn Glass Company for six years, creating lines of iridescent and lustre glass.


Dish and Mold, 1948. Translucent opalescent fused plate glass; ceramic mold (first glass object made by the Higgenses in their apartment studio; ceramic mold is original mold). Overall H: 3 cm, W: 7.7 cm, D: 7.9 cm. Collection of The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York (2007.4.25).

Mobile, made c. 1966-1990s. Fused glass shapes in multiple colors and forms, 34 separate pieces. Collection of the Museum of American Glass in West Virginia (2016.57.40).

Riviera ashtray, made c. 1958-1964. Manufactured by Dearborn Glass Company. Fused glass with stripes of varying shades blue and green radiating out from the center, with irregular bubbles.  L: 7 in, W: 5 in. Collection of the Museum of American Glass in West Virginia. (2012.134.12).


Writings by Paul Hollister Bibliography

“USA Studio Glass vor 1962 / before 1962: Maurice Heaton, Frances and Michael Higgins, Edris Eckhardt, Vier Pioniere und Wegbereiter / Four Pioneers and True Originals.” Neues Glas, no. 4 (October/December 1985): 232–40.