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Glancy was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1950. He began working with glass in 1970 and received a BFA from the University of Denver in 1973. In 1977 he earned a second BFA in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design. Glancy earned an MFA in glass from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1980, where he studied with Dale Chihuly.
Glancy is a member of the adjunct faculty in the Jewelry & Metalsmithing Department at the Rhode Island School of Design from 1982 until 2017. He has also been an invited faculty member at the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington.
Glancy has worked for over 20 years with Attleboro, Massachusetts colleague Myles Baer. Baer has assisted with cold working techniques including engraving and sandblasting of both the glass vessels and their base plates. In addition to working with glass, Baer is also a musician and songwriter. Glancy collaborates with Adrianne Evans, who assists with wax mold making for casting glass and metal objects.
In 2003 Glancy was included in the exhibition "Fire and Form," curated by William Warmus for the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach. In the book accompanying the show, Warmus wrote: "Michael Glancy magnifies nature in order to reveal its underlying structure...the flat glass panels that form sculptural bases for his artworks...unfold into and inspire the vessels that sit astride them."
His work was acquired for the exhibit One of a Kind: The Studio Craft Movement at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, on display in 2006 – 2007. In 2013, five of his work was included in the Corning Museum of Glass permanent collection. In 2012 his work was included in the Minneapolis Institute of Art museum permanent collection. Carnegie Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Renwick Gallery, Glasmuseum, Ebeltoft, Denmark; Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Hokkaido, Japan; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, among others. Glancy's glass and metal sculpture can be found in museum, public and private collections, worldwide.
- Glancy, Michael, "Michael Glancy - Infinite Obsessions", Arnoldsche Art Publishers, Stuttgart, Germany 2011.
- Glancy, Michael, Michael Glancy, Switzerland, Galerie Von Bartha, 2001.
- Glancy, Michael, Beyond Vessels: Recent Glass Work by Michael Glancy, New York, Barry Friedman, 1997.
- Glancy, Michael, Constellations an Alternative Galaxy Glass By Michael Glancy, Basel, Switzerland, Von Bartha, 1995.
- "All About Glass, Meet the Artist: Michael Glancy". Corning Museum of Glass (CMOG). Retrieved 2016-04-19.
- "Michael Glancy, Jewelry Metalsmithing". Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Retrieved 2016-04-19.
- "Biomorphic Ganglia, Michael M. Glancy". Minneapolis Institute of Art. Retrieved 2016-04-19.
- Bennett, Lennie (2011-05-14). "Collectors Circle selects Michael Glancy glass work to donate to Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2016-04-19.
- "Past Exhibitions". The Chazan Gallery at Wheeler. Retrieved 2016-04-19.
- Warmus, William, "Fire and Form: The Art of Contemporary Glass", West Palm Beach: Norton Museum of Art, 2003. Distributed by the University of Washington Press.