C. Glenn Richardson

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Artist

C. Glenn Richardson (born Clarence George Richardson) is a retired American artist, designer, and sculptor that worked most notably for Haeger Potteries and the Harris Marcus Group until his retirement in 2007.

He was born in Chicago's North side in 1930. After attending Lane Tech High School, he attended Wright Junior College and then joined the Marine Corps during the Korean War. After leaving the military, Richardson joined Plasto Lamp Manufacturing studio in 1954 as head designer.

After later opening his own design studio and working as a freelance designer and sculptor in 1965, he co-created the Lite America Lamp Corporation in 1968 and served as a partner until it eventually went out of business. During this period of freelance work and entrepreneurship, he also redesigned the interiors of several churches in the Chicago area.

In 1971, shortly after the dissolution of Lite America, he began working for Haeger Industries, Inc. as a designer and sculptor for Haeger Potteries and Royal Haeger Lamp Company. During his time with Haeger, he designed a wide range of products and became the Head Director of Design. He retired from the company in 1991. Shortly after he was approached by the Harris Marcus Group for whom he served as Chief Designer until his official retirement in 2007.

Early life

C. Glenn Richardson was born in 1930 on Chicago’s North side to parents Bertha Knapp and Walter Earl Richardson. He was born into a family of artists, and began to show exceptional talent in various artistic mediums at a young age. During his time at Lane Tech High School in the 1940s, Richardson was awarded first place in a design competition to design the emblem for the school library’s stamping system. This award brought him his first major recognition outside of his family. Furthermore, this new recognition resulted in his first job offer from an art studio. After attending Lane Tech, Richardson continued his artistic education at Wright Junior College, where he made All-Conference playing football and then transferred to the University of Alabama on a football scholarship. A knee injury ended his football career and after recovering he joined the Marine Corps during the Korean War. While stationed in Jacksonville, North Carolina during his time with the Fleet Marine Force, he designed his company's emblem, which became their official insignia.[1] While he was stationed in San Diego, he was able to continue his artistic education at San Diego Junior College.

Return to Chicago

In 1953 after his time with the Marine Corps, Richardson returned to Chicago. Upon encouragement from his older brother, Walter Richardson, he began to sculpt statues and lamps as freelance work. He then attended the Illinois Institute of Technology. There he began studying under and working with lamp designer and sculptor Les Fordyce. In 1954, Richardson began working for the Plasto Lamp Manufacturing Company. He worked as both Head Designer and Modeler at Plasto for 11 years. In 1965, he opened his own art studio and began doing freelance work again. During this period, Richardson worked independently with Continental Studios and redesigned the interiors of several churches in the Chicago area. This work included painting murals that are still present within many of those churches today. In 1968, Richardson co-created the Lite-America Lamp Corporation.[no citations needed here] The company did well until a trucking strike made it impossible to deliver their merchandise, and the company went out of business in early 1971.[no citations needed here]

The Haeger Years

File:Springfield Lincoln Statue.jpg
Statue of Abraham Lincoln on display in Springfield, Illinois
File:The Worlds Tallest Pottery Vase.jpg
Front view of the World's Tallest Art Pottery Vase on display in the Haeger Potteries museum in West Dundee, Illinois.

In April 1971, shortly after the dissolution of Lite-America, Richardson began working for Haeger Industries, Inc. He worked closely with long-time designer Eric Olsen until Olsen’s retirement later that year. After Olsen retired, Richardson quickly became Chief Designer for Haeger Potteries and the Royal Haeger Lamp Company.[2] During his time at Haeger, Richardson designed and hand sculpted many products that became signature parts of Haeger's catalog. These products ranged from lamps, to fine pottery, to many exceptional animal sculptures, and a series of cookie jars.[3] One such cookie jar designed and sculpted by Richardson was the seminal Keebler cookie jar that was made to look like the Keebler Treehouse. In addition to his own work, Richardson collaborated on many projects with the other members of the Haeger team. The famous World’s Tallest Art Pottery Vase, which was entered into the Guinness Book of Records in 1976,[4] was hand spun by Sebastiano Maglio with help from Richardson.[2][5] This vase, standing at over eight feet tall and weighing between an estimated 650 to 675 lbs., was finished in 1977 and depicts scenes of potters at work hand-painted by Richardson.[2] During his time at Haeger, Richardson was involved in the creation of a statue of Abraham Lincoln for former Illinois Governor James R. Thompson.[6] The statue was finished in 1987 and currently stands in the Springfield Lincoln Museum.[6] C. Glenn Richardson’s career at Haeger was vibrant and diverse, and he continued to make a large impact in the company until he retired from Haeger in 1991.[1]

Harris Marcus Group

After his retirement from Haeger Potteries and the Royal Haeger Lamp Corporation, Richardson kept himself busy with various personal art projects. In the mid-nineties, he was approached by the Harris Marcus Group, who had adored his designs for years.[no citations needed here] The company quickly made him the Chief Designer of multiple product lines, and he continued his design work there for nearly ten years. In 2007, Richardson officially retired from his professional art career due to several health related issues.[no citations needed here]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 C. Glenn Richardson Archives. Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, 2017. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Garmon, Lee, Doris Frizzell, and Jay Barnard. Collecting Royal Haeger: A Comprehensive Illustrated Price Guide Highlighting the Figurines of the 30s & 40s. Paducah, KY: Collector, 1989. Print.
  3. Rohr, Lauren. Haeger Potteries Owner: "It's the end of a beautiful legacy". The Daily Herald. Illinois Press Association, 8 July 2016. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.
  4. McWhirther, Norris, and Alan Ross McWhirther. Guinness Book of World Records, 1976. Revised ed. N.p.: Sterling Publishing Co., 1975. Print.
  5. 'Haeger Potteries.' Haeger Potteries. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2017
  6. 6.0 6.1 United States. Illinois State Government. Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs. Letter to Larry M. Gillenwater. By Lynn G. Raney. Springfield: State of Illinois Center, 1987. Print.

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