Herb Babcock’s initial concentration was metal sculpture. In 1969 he studied glass blowing and in 1974 he initiated a series of “Glass Image Vessels.” In 1983 he began to combine metal and glass in sculpture. In 1989 he did the first of the “Pillared Series” which included metal and stone.
Herb was born in Bloomdale, Ohio in 1946 and currently lives in Oxford, Michigan. He received a BFA in sculpture from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1969 and an MFA in sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1973. He studied glass blowing at the Toledo Museum of Art – Glass Workshop Studio in 1970 -71 and built and operated a small glass studio for the Cranbrook Academy of Art while a student.
Herb Babcock was Professor, Section Chairman of the Glass Department at the College for Creative Studies from 1974 to 2013. He served as Chairman of the Crafts Department from 1990 to 2002. He was the lead designer and project manager on the instillation of a new state-of-th-art glass blowing facility to expand the Craft Department at the College for Creative Studies.
Through the CCS glass program, Herb completed several community projects. In 1979-80 he was project director for the stained glass windows in the Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, Michigan. In 1981-82 and in 1990-91 he was project director for both the stained glass Children’s Windows for the Huntington Woods Public Library and the designer of the Adult Windows for the Huntington Woods Public Library. In 2002-03 he completed a set of windows for the St. Clair Shores Public Library.
Mr. Babcock’s artwork has been shown in numerous exhibits both nationally and internationally. His sculptures are represented at the Habatat Galleries, Royal Oak, Michigan; Habatat Galleries, West Palm Beach, Florida; Etch Galleries, Chicago, Illinois; Imago Galleries, Palm Desert, California and Sandra Ainsley Gallery Toronto, Ontario.
His work is included in many national and international collections and galleries. Some public collections that have his work are: The Detroit Institute of Art; The Columbus Museum of Fine Art, Columbus, Ohio; The Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, Michigan; Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg, Coburg, Germany; Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany; The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio and the University of Michigan Dearborn.
Herb supports and speaks for glass and other craft arts. His lectures stress the integrity and creativity found in work in traditional craft materials. He has been involved as a curator for many exhibits over the years from the Detroit Artists Market in the 1970’s to the recent CCS Student and Alumni Glass Exhibit at the Janice Epstein Gallery, Jewish Community Center.
He is a member of the Michigan Glass Month Committee that promotes yearly exhibits, lectures and educational demonstrations since 1982. He has served on the Detroit Institute of Arts, Modern Decorative Arts Group Steering Committee and Board of the Friends of Modern and Contemporary Art from 1993 to 2006 and is now an advisory member. As chairman of MDAG he assisted it’s merger with the FMCA in 1999.
Herb completed a major sculpture commission Young Bamboo In Wind for the Hsinchu Culture Center, Hsinchu City, Taiwan. The 22 foot steel, glass, stone and fiber-optic sculpture was dedicated at the opening ceremonies of THE ‘95 HSINCHU INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL FOR GLASS ARTS. For the new Campus Marquis Park in Detroit, he collaborated on the completion of two glass and metal sculptures: the “Woodward Monument Marker” and the “Monroe Monument Marker. One of his recent public commissions was the instillation of 5 “Pillared Series” sculptures named for the 5 Great Lakes at the MGM Grand Casino Hotel, Detroit, Michigan.
Herb Babcock is represented by Sandra Ainsley Gallery, located in Toronto, the leading contemporary glass art gallery in Canada.