Albinas Elskus (Bielskis)

(1926 - 2007)


Albinas Elskus (1926-2007) was born in Lithuania. He studied art at the Institute of Decorative Arts in Kaunas. After World Wor II he studied architecture at the Technische Hochschule in Darmstadt, West Germany, And painting at the L'école des Arts et Métiers in Freiburg. in 1949 elskus came to the United States and began an apprenticeship at a stained glass studio in Chicago. In 1952 he returned to Europe for a year's study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. Since 1953 Elskus has lived in New York City. There he began working in stained glass with the esteemed master John Gordon Guthie. He also painted with John von Wicht as part of his continuing education in glass. By 1964 he had become part owner of Durhan Studios in New York, and in 1981 he struck out on his own as a free-lance artist-designer. In 1973 Elskus began teaching at Fordham University in the Bronx and in 1982 became an instructor at the Parson School of Design. Aside from his regular duties of teching he is much in demand for his lecture demonstrations at schools throughout the United States, Canada and Japan.


His work has been widely exhibited in these countries, including exhibitions at the Corning Museum of Glass, the American Craft Museum, and the Heller Gallery in New York City. In 1980 Elskus published The Art of Painting on Glass (Charles Scribner and Sons, New York), which has become an important handbook for many glass artists.
Although Elskus worked in oils, drawing, and mosaics, he is best known for his work in stained glass. Early in his career Elskus worked discarded the Gothic Revivalists' attempts to recreate the form, colors, and technique of stained glass that belonged to another age.