Born in New York City in 1926, Thomas S. Buechner attended Princeton University, The Art Student’s League in New York and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. In Amsterdam, he studied old master painting techniques with M.M. van Dantzig, a pupil of Max Doerner’s.
Subsequently employed as a designer and graphic artist on the Governor’s staff in Puerto Rico, he specialized in exhibition design and was later appointed to the Display Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The first director of The Corning Museum of Glass (1950-1960) and then director of the Brooklyn Museum (1960-1971), Buechner simultaneously worked as an illustrator for the Chicago Tribunes’s and the Washington Post’s Book World as well as on cassette jackets for operas – a major interest of his.
In 1972, he became president of Steuben Glass, chairman of the Corning Glass Works Foundation, and president of the Corning Museum of Glass. He helped to establish the Rockwell Museum in 1976, serving as its president for ten years. In 1985 he became a vice president of Corning Glass Works.
As author and lecturer, Buechner is known to glass scholars, artists, and collectors. He wrote the glass section for the Encyclopedia Britannica and founded both the Journal of Glass Studies and the New Glass Review. He also wrote Norman Rockwell, Artist and Illustrator in 1971 and, thirty years later in 2000, How I Paint, both published by Harry N. Abrams. His most recent book, Seeing a Life, was published by the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira, New York in 2007.
Painting full time since 1986, he is an established portrait, landscape, and still life painter. Buechner has had many one man exhibitions in New York, throughout this country, and in Germany and Japan. His paintings have been acquired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art, among others. He taught Italy, Germany, Corning, and Elmira.
Tom and Mary Buechner were married in 1949 and are survived by three children and seven grandchildren.