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Mary Gregory (1856–1908) was an American artist known for her decoration of glass products at the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Gregory worked for Boston and Sandwich from 1880-1884. Gregory painted lamps and plaques of landscape scenes during her years at B&SGC.
Early Life & Work
Gregory was born in Providence, Rhode Island to John Gregory and Hannah A. Gregory. Her mother was a school teacher in Sandwich, Massachusetts and Mary worked as a teacher as well from 1876 - 1879, but soon abandoned teaching to work for the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company as a glass decorator, beginning in January 1880.
She was particularly well known for her paintings of Victorian Era children, and such artwork has been referred to as Mary Gregory since the 1920s. However, it was shown that such artworks were actually from an earlier era, and the term was likely the result of marketing by the Westmoreland Glass Company. The glass most likely came from Bohemia, England, or Italy. Despite this, many glass art enthusiasts continue to refer to such pieces as Mary Gregory.
Westmoreland Glass Company
The Westmoreland Glass Company of Grapeville, Pennsylvania began marketing their glasswork as Mary Gregory in the 1920s. They would create glass paintings of Victorian Era children in profile, and say it was done in the style of Mary Gregory. Westmoreland artists painted the cherubic white silhouettes on black milk glass plates, vases, glass boxes, heart-shaped plates, et cetera. In the 1970s they also painted these scenes on blanks that they called Blue Mist – a semi-opaque glass with a baby blue tint to it. Many pieces of Mary Gregory also show up as Cranberry plates, tumbler sets, goblets, glasses and so on.
Gregory, her sister, and possibly others she had trained, used a white enamel paint with ground glass as a paint mixture. To bind the paint to the glass, they fired it after application. It was fused with the piece in this manner so the painting became part of the glass. Similar artwork was made by literally dozens of glass houses, and some, such as Fenton, continue to this day.
- "Rhode Island, Births, 1636-1930 [database on-line]". Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. 2000. Retrieved March 3, 2016. (subscription required (. ))
- Barlow, Raymond; Kaiser, Joan (1983). The Glass Industry in Sandwich. Windham, NH: Barlow-Kaiser Publishing Company, Inc. pp. 277–289. ISBN 0-9610166-0-4.