Skip to main content

Blenko

Blenko Glass (USA, est. 1893)

A producer of hand-blown glass since 1893, Blenko Glass is currently headquartered in Milton, West Virginia, where it has operated since 1921. Among its many illustrious projects are the stained-glass windows it produced for St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Washington National Cathedral. Blenko is known today for the brilliant colors of its glass vessels and objects—particularly those produced in the 1950s and ’60s—which range from jewel-like blues and greens to brilliant reds and yellows.


The company was founded by William J. Blenko, an English immigrant who was apprenticed to a glassmaker in his native London as a young man. Blenko developed expertise in the production of rondels, the round panes used in stained glass windows. His interest in the potential of natural gas to fire glass furnaces led him to Milton, where abundant reserves of the fuel had attracted a pool of skilled glassblowers. Under the name Eureka Glass, his company began making window glass in 1923, and in 1925, he was joined in the business by his son, William H. Blenko.


When the Great Depression quelled demand for stained glass, William J. Blenko brought local Milton glassblowers into the company to begin producing stem- and tableware, products for which the company, which changed its name to Blenko in 1930, is now best known. Up until the end of World War II, Blenko’s tableware designs were fairly straightforward, and they sold well at American department such as Gump’s, in San Francisco. The company was also commissioned in 1930 to produce a line of reproductions for Colonial Williamsburg.


In 1947, the company hired as its art director Winslow Anderson, who introduced artful, fanciful and modern vessels and objects in vibrant colors. This began what collectors refer to as Blenko’s “historic period.” A number of Anderson’s designs were honored by the Museum of Modern Art’s Good Design Awards in 1950, and throughout the 1950’s and ‘60s, the company enjoyed robust sales and critical acclaim. The forms Blenko produced during this period followed the contemporary vogue for biomorphism, or organic modernism, which favored rounded and fluid shapes inspired by nature.


One of Blenko’s most influential designers, Wayne Husted, who was active from 1953 to ’63, is credited with aligning Blenko’s products with the prevailing mid-century modern aesthetic by pushing the envelope on both form and color, particularly in his wedge-cut and Spool decanters and his Echoes series. Joel Philip Myers, who designed for Blenko in the 1960s, brought a sense of whimsy and visual excess to the product line, in keeping with the psychedelic look favored during the period.


Blenko Glass still produces many of its classic designs in items ranging from stemware and tableware to decorative objects and ornamental decanters. Among collectors, pieces created under Husted’s creative direction are of special interest. The company has come to the attention of younger audiences through the documentaries Blenko: Hearts of Glass and Blenko Retro: Three Designers of American Glass, both of which aired on PBS. Blenko also designed the glass award trophy for the Country Music Awards.

Applied Filters1 result
Creator:Blenko
Dealer:Areaid Inc
1
to
1
Item Ships From
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
42
22
19
6
5
Glass Bottle, by Blenko, Mid-Century, circa 1950, Grey, Tall
By Blenko Glass
Located in New York, NY
Decorative tall grey/dark green glass bottle, circa 1950, Blenko, USA.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Blenko

Materials

Smoked Glass

Related Items
Glass Bowl by Tapio Wirkkala, Scandinavian, Mid-Century, circa 1950
By Tapio Wirkkala
Located in New York, NY
Category

1950s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Vintage Blenko

Materials

Blown Glass

Glass Decanter by Holmegaard, Mid-Century, Grey, Scandinavian, circa 1950
By Holmegaard
Located in New York, NY
Category

1950s Danish Mid-Century Modern Vintage Blenko

Materials

Smoked Glass

Bowl, Glass, Kosta Boda, Scandinavian, Mid-Century, circa 1970, Turquoise
By Kosta Boda
Located in New York, NY
Category

1970s Swedish Mid-Century Modern Vintage Blenko

Materials

Blown Glass

Vase by Timo Sarpaneva, Scandinavian, Blue, Hand Blown Glass, circa 1960
By Timo Sarpaneva
Located in New York, NY
Category

1960s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Vintage Blenko

Materials

Blown Glass

Pitcher by Stig Lindberg, Scandinavian, Mid-Century, Red, Gray and White
By Stig Lindberg
Located in New York, NY
Category

1950s Swedish Mid-Century Modern Vintage Blenko

Materials

Faience

Ceramic Pitcher, Italy, Midcentury, Red, White and Black, circa 1950, Vintage
Located in New York, NY
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Blenko

Materials

Ceramic

Vase, Glass, Midcentury, Greenwich Flint Craft, circa 1950, Vintage, USA
By Greenwich Flint Craft
Located in New York, NY
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Blenko

Materials

Blown Glass

Vase, Midcentury Glass Vase, Scandinavian, White and Chocolate, circa 1950
By Strombergshyttan
Located in New York, NY
Category

1950s Swedish Mid-Century Modern Vintage Blenko

Materials

Blown Glass

Bitossi, Ceramic Vase, Mid-Century, Italy, Turquoise, Tall, Circa 1950
By Bitossi
Located in New York, NY
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Blenko

Materials

Ceramic

Mirror, Mid-Century, Painted Gold, circa 1950
Located in New York, NY
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Blenko

Materials

Gold

Thermo from Japan, Mid-Century, circa 1950
Located in New York, NY
Category

1950s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Vintage Blenko

Materials

Brass, Bamboo

Vase by Holmegaard, Scandinavian, Mid-Century, circa 1960, White Glass
By Holmegaard
Located in New York, NY
Category

1960s Danish Mid-Century Modern Vintage Blenko

Materials

Glass

Creators Similar to Blenko