Above: Artist Stephen Rolfe Powell giving a demonstration in glass blowing at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
Stephen Rolfe Powell
November 26, 1951–March 16, 2019
The Museum wishes to honor the memory of Stephen Rolfe Powell, a luminary in the field of studio art glass and a friend of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, who passed away on Saturday, March 16, 2019.
Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Powell spent his undergraduate years studying painting and ceramics at Center College in Danville, Kentucky. While continuing to pursue ceramics in graduate school at Louisiana State, he found his passion in the excitement of glass and never looked back.
Since that time, Powell became internationally recognized for his innovative glass sculptures. A master with murine, he blew and stretched glass into suggestive, asymmetrical shapes, that along with his inventive method of swinging and torching the molten glass, offered a fresh departure from conventional vessels. His eccentric sculptural pieces, often sporting tongue-in-cheek titles, are dazzling imaginative works that pop and sizzle with rich color.
Known for his humor and exuberance, along with his grace and generosity, Powell was an unofficial ambassador for glass art and studio glass artists. Equally important to creating his own work, Powell relished his role as a professor, inspiring many students throughout the years at the glass program he founded at Centre College.