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Bierwirth Family Tree

The Otto Bierwirth Family

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Letter from George McKearin

Sometime in the 1950s Otto Bierwirth received a letter from George McKearin while Mr. McKearin was traveling in Europe. McKearin was the noted Hoosick Falls collector and world-renowned expert of Corning glassware whom Otto assisted from time to time in transporting glassware to and from various auctions and sales.


June 8

Dear Otto

Thought you might like to have a note from the Old Man. It is another beautiful clear sunny day. We left Frankfort about 12:30 PM for Rome and have just been passing over the Alps. It was quite a sight to look down and see the snow-capped mountains below us. I'm in a big Constellation plane operated by the South African Air Line (controlled I believe by the British European Airways. He's enroute to Johannesburg So. Africa.)

I left Berlin yesterday morning and was booked to take this same plane yesterday, but from Johannesburg to London it was 24 hrs. late, so had to stay over 'till today.

Called up Ray W. Smith who is US Commissoner Military Security Board at Koblenz and took the train to there and stayed overnight with Mr. & Mrs. Smith. He collects ancient glass but nothing after 1300. Has one of the finest collections in the world. A considerable part of it is on loan exhibition in museums all over the world. Due in Rome in about an hour and will get first train I can for Florence.

Expect to leave the 14th for Paris stopping overnight in Zurich. Plan to be in London the 20th and home July 4th. Hope Betty will be home by time this reaches you. Wonder how the garden is coming and if we will have green peas July 4th.

Hope everyone is well and everything going all right.

Geo S. McKearin

Had a fine time Copenhagen and in Berlin
The exhibition of American glass looked fine


Excerpt from the first issue of the Corning Museum of Glass, Journal of Glass Studies, 1959

"On Tuesday, December 16, 1958, George S McKearin died and to him this first issue is dedicated. No one individual could better typify the Journal's variety of interest; no one individual could better personify its purpose. As co-author with his daughter, Helen McKearin, of 'American Glass' and 'Two Hundred Years of American Blown Glass', he was responsible for the two most valuable reference books in the American field. He formed great collections and made other collections greater; he discovered and exposed innumerable misconceptions about American glass; and he inspired all who knew him by sharing with them his knowledge and his enthusiasm. Not least among his many accomplishments was the object balance he maintained between his love for the artifacts of the New World and his appreciation of those of the Old." - Courtesy of Ian Simmons

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