John Dreves | 1913-2003

Designer for Steuben Glass

John Dreves, a master crystal maker, was born in College Point, New York, in 1913. He was best known as the creator of the classic olive bowl design that Steuben Glass introduced at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Dreves created the bowl when he was only 26 years old, long before he became Steuben’s second resident designer. As a resident designer for Steuben from 1945 until his retirement in 1972, he was in charge of all glassmaking, cutting, engraving, and crystalware production. Dreves’ unique design often appeared in major art exhibitions and was promoted as a valuable gift for company presidents and heads of state.

His father was an interior designer with a basement studio, where the young Dreves helped his father and made model ships. He graduated from Pratt Institute in 1935. He was working in advertising design when the crystal in the Steuben shop window on Fifth Avenue caught his attention. Dreves initially worked at Steuben’s building in Manhattan, assisting them with their display at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

Dreves passed on November 16, 2003, in Corning, New York.

Sources: Steuben Glass,


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