C'est N'est Pas Une Pipe : Is incorporating glass pipes into the world of "high art" still a pipe dream?

Abigail Horlick, Sotheby's Institute of Art


The purpose of this research paper is to seek to answer why glass pipe making, an artform that has existed for decades in the United States, is left out of the realm of art history education and is largely overlooked in museums and other art institutions. This paper will examine specific motifs and images that are common in glass pipes and explore their significance. This topic is meaningful in that is relates to a specific subculture of American life and represents an era of creativity and artistic freedom of expression. My project will analyze this unique artform from artistic, historical, and commercial perspectives. It will focus on how it has been overlooked and how its popularity has risen in the market in recent years. Additionally, my paper will follow social trends and legal shifts which have directly affected the increased interest in the utilitarian purpose of pipes as tools for smoking, as well as their aesthetic function as works of art.