Albinas Elskus first became acquainted with stained glass while studying at the Institute of Decorative Arts in his native Lithuania. After WWII, he studied architecture at the Technische Hochschule in Darmstadt Germany, and painting at the Ecole des Arts et Metiers in Freiburg.
After arriving in the US in 1949, he completed the four-year apprenticeship program of the Stained Glass Association of America in Chicago and New York. In 1953 he became a designer for George Durhan & Son in New York, where he studied with the renowned J. Gordon Guthrie. Guthrie was personally recruited from Scotland by Louis C. Tiffany and brought to America from Scotland.
In 1964-1981, Albinas became a co-owner and designer/painter for Durhan Studios, along with master craftsman Paul Coulaz.
In 1980, he received a National Endowment for the Arts Craftsman’s Fellowship Grant. The same year, he published the Art of Painting on Glass, which was one of the very first books to reveal the secrets of glass painting.
To train the next generation of glass painters, Albinas conducted numerous workshops at schools throughout the USA, including Pilchuck Glass School (Washington state); Haystack Mountain School of Crafts (Maine); Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (Tennesse); and the SGAA (Massachusetts). He also taught drawing and painting at Fordham University and Parsons School of Design, both in New York City.
His work is highly collectible and has been exhibited at the Renwick Gallery (Washington, D.C.), the Vatican Museum (Rome), the American Crafts Museum (New York) and many other museums and galleries. Permanent collections include the Corning Museum of Glass (New York) and the Stained Glass Museum at Ely Cathedral (England) as well as corporate and private collections all over the world.
He designed over 100 ecclesiastical commissions throughout the US, Canada and Mexico. In 2000, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Stained Glass Association of America.
In 2004 he and his wife Ann, moved to their summer cottage on the coast of Maine, where he passed away in February, 2007.
For additional information regarding the life and work of Albinas Elskus visit: www.albinaselskus.com