Rick Price, a legacy in print

Richard Price, the editor and head of publications for The Corning Museum of Glass announced his retirement earlier this month after serving for nearly three and a half decades with the Museum.

As the Head of Publications, Rick, as he was better known, edited editions of the Museum’s prestigious Journal of Glass Studies, Notable Acquisitions, and the contemporary glass exhibition-in-print, New Glass Review—all annual publications.

Additionally, Rick has edited exhibitions catalogs and other scholarly publications, including Glass from World’s Fairs, 1851-1904 (1986) during his early tenure, Drawing upon Nature: Studies for the Blaschkas’ Glass Models (2007), Collecting Contemporary Glass: Art and Design after 1990 (from The Corning Museum of Glass) (2014), and the forthcoming publication, In Sparkling Company: Reflections on Glass in the 18th-Century British World, a companion piece to the Museum’s major exhibition in 2020.

This small cross-section alone represents the breadth of knowledge and specialties that Rick has fixed his attention on over the years.

Rick has worked with scores of curators, scholars, conservators, scientists, and librarians during his tenure at The Corning Museum of Glass. He is widely recognized throughout the arts and scholarly communities as the go-to editor for all things pertaining to glass and glassmaking.

Respected by colleagues past and present and held in high esteem by Museum members as well as friends and family, a request for testimonials that speak to his character and extensive career was enthusiastically met by all.

The first comes from his daughter, Kim Thompson, media and public relations manager, a fellow colleague at the Museum:

“Rick is my dad, and I have spent much of my life living in fear and awe of his red pen. I not only followed in his footsteps in Journalism but here to work at The Corning Museum of Glass, as well. He has worked at the Museum longer than I’ve been alive, and as such, I’ve been coming to various events and developing an appreciation for glass for as long as I can remember. Now that I work in the Museum’s Marketing & Communications department, my dad is my go-to source for any editing and style questions for the marketing materials we produce. He thoroughly checks multiple resources before he provides me with an answer. I am so grateful he passed along to me not only a passion for this Museum, but a keen eye for copyediting, a detective-like determination for factual accuracy, and a desire to strive for excellence. Enjoy your retirement, Dad!”

Rick with his wife, Sheila, and daughter Kim Thompson

Karol Wight, president and executive director:

“It has been an honor and privilege to work with Rick over the past eight years. Rick has been the standard-bearer for excellence and quality in all of our publications for more than three decades, and his steadfastness as an editor has enabled us to uphold the reputation of excellence in research and scholarship that The Corning Museum of Glass holds in the field of museum publications. Beyond materials that have appeared in print, Rick has also served as the editor for all of the interpretive materials that our visitors see in our galleries—he has had his eye on each object label and descriptive panel, and he has ensured that we are consistent in the words we use to describe and interpret our collection for our visitors. I think it is clear that his impact has been enormous!”

Jaci Saunders, publications designer, and the other half of Rick’s department of two:

“There’s an expression that says, ‘opposites attract.’ Well, this couldn’t be a truer description for Rick and me! I’m a city girl and live for the action and excitement, he enjoys a slower, calmer pace. I’m a rocker chick, he’s more of a Beethoven kind of guy. I scribble outside the lines of the coloring book while he colors oh-so precisely inside. Basically, I’m the Oscar Madison to his Felix Unger (you youngsters might have to look that one up!). We are perfect foils for one another, so clearly evidenced by just opening up any one of many Museum publications and flipping through its pages. I am very proud and honored to have had the opportunity to work with Rick for the past 25 years. We were more than co-workers—we were partners with a common goal: to tell the world about glass. We did that through our books and his legacy lives on within each and every page.”

Christopher Maxwell, curator of European glass:

“Even for the most seasoned writers, a project with Rick is an exacting exercise in precise grammar and correct English usage. He makes a virtue of fastidiousness and his commitment to fact-checking names, dates, and citations has spared the blushes of many an author and safeguarded the scholarly excellence CMoG is so proud to nurture.”

Rick sharing stories with colleagues at his retirement party

Regan Brumagen, associate librarian, public services:

“Rick is a frequent visitor to the reference desk, often to pose a question about a passage he is editing. His questions have us scratching our heads over the political boundaries of countries in the 18th century, digging into French, German, and Russian biographical encyclopedias, puzzling over punctuation and grammar, and generally combing the stacks and internet in pursuit of answers to “Rick Questions.” (You can also bet he has already researched the question before bringing it to the desk, so you know it won’t be easy.) When you have a category of question designated with your name, you have achieved rock-star status at the reference desk. We are going to miss Rick, a wonderful editor, and colleague, but we  will also miss these challenges to our research and language skills!”

Gail Bardhan, former Rakow Library research librarian:

“I worked with Rick for 32 years. Thanks to his editing, his dedication to accuracy and thoroughness, CMoG’s many publications since 1985 reflect his insistence on the “whole truth and nothing but the truth.” I enjoyed helping him to verify footnotes and facts, and his quest for information added to our library’s collection of older articles and expanded information that we could offer others.”

Dwight Lanmon, former Museum director (1981 – 1992), responsible for hiring Rick:

“Congratulations, Rick, and thank you for your incredible service to the Museum and to glass scholarship. I recall when you were hired that I thought (and hoped) that you would have a long and productive association with the Museum and its staff—and scholars worldwide—but you exceeded every hope I had.  Well done, and thank you, my friend.  I hope you will find retirement enjoyable and satisfying.”

Rick opening his retirement gift

Marv Bolt, curator of science and technology:

“I’ve greatly enjoyed working with Rick and, in the process, learning a few new arcane (and useful) writing tips. I’ll miss our conversations on all sorts of topics. Best wishes for future projects and pursuing your many interests!”

Tina Oldknow, former senior curator of modern and contemporary glass:

“Rick Price’s well-earned retirement comes at a time when museum publications all over the world are expanding to encompass much more than the traditional boundaries of exhibition catalog publishing. Over the course of his long career at The Corning Museum of Glass, Rick ensured that Museum publications reflected the highest academic standards possible by editing art, historical, and scientific texts with rigor and efficiency. He worked with many authors, writing in several languages, with aplomb. He did much work with his authors on standardizing glassmaking terms. Always respectful, he never shied from asking difficult questions and reminding authors of difficult deadlines. In my time at the museum, I enjoyed working with Rick because he was clearly a highly-skilled editor, he always maintained a professional demeanor, he was thorough, he turned work around quickly, and he made good suggestions. Mostly, he freed me from worry because I knew he would bring order to a chaotic text, and that he would never let anything just slide. As a writer, he made me look good. He improved my writing with his edits, for which I am very grateful, and I look forward to working with Rick in the future on independent projects.”

William Gudenrath, resident advisor at The Studio:

“Maybe a really great editor is supposed to occasionally make an author feel a bit like a dolt, but I’ll bet that Rick Price, in his long tenure here at CMOG, has never done that. Throughout our work together, Rick has always been forcefully assertive in his passion for clarity and accuracy while ever-so-tactfully reminding me that my name is on the article or book forever: “Don’t you want to rewrite this section…or reposition a figure (and renumber them all yet again!)…or add a loftier closing; maybe soar a little?… We’ve got time!” Again and again, Rick has made me a better—no, much better—writer and a better communicator. A thousand thanks for unfailingly going so far beyond what is reasonably expected of an editor; this museum has been the great beneficiary of your kind presence. PS to Rick: sincere apologies for the excessive exclamation marks and, yes, probably unnecessary use of italics!”

Rick with William Gudenrath

Rick’s last day at the Museum was Monday, September 30th.

3 comments » Write a comment

  1. When starting work at 8 am in the curatorial office at the museum, you could bet that Rick had already done three hours of work on that day… He really toils, and he made readable the papers of innumerable authors, both for the Journal of Glass Studies as well as for exhibition catalogs. Well beyond the museum doors, Rick will be sorely missed by the glass research community!

  2. Best of luck on your retirement Rick. Wishing you many years of good health and happiness.

  3. Rick — I know you will be missed by all the staff and CMoG friends. I recall with fondness (and some trepidation!) our bouts of proofreading the Checklist for the Journal of Glass Studies’ deadlines. You were an impeccable editor, and my work was better for it. I hope you have lots of good times and long years ahead…maybe, just maybe, you’ll learn to sleep in until after 5 a.m.!

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