Guide to Kaleidoscope Artists

In this blog, we investigated the mirror systems, and now I’d like to address the artists who have been most instrumental in creating these remarkable collections. There are several which I inadvertently will miss, I’m sure, and I’d be happy to add them once it’s brought to my attention. There are over 75 who have added their knowledge and talent to making such fine, collectible objects. With such a large number of people who have contributed to this art, it may take awhile to cover even those 75 that we have probably met and been privileged to know, and that we sold their works in the past 40 some years at our five shops in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota or online.

Bob and Grace Ade

For ease of finding information on these designers of fine kaleidoscopes, I will attempt to address them in alphabetical order along with some of their work. So with that in mind, Bob Ade comes to mind as the first artist that I mention. Bob and his wife, Grace, called their business Ade Enterprises, starting in 1983. Bob enjoyed adding nontraditional images to his kaleidoscopes. His work was made of lovely stained glass some of which were limited editions, and some were production pieces. His production pieces included, but bot limited to the “Mini-Tube,” “Number One,” “Jewel,” and ”Iris Garden, (priced originally from about $15 to $300). Bob’s limited-edition kaleidoscopes were priced originally from $1250 to $1800, some of which are “Crystal Pyramid” and “Crystal Rapture” in the Crystal series which used internal lighting to enhance the inside images.

Bob and Jan Anderson

The Andersons made stained glass as Anderson Art Glass of Lee’s Summit, Missouri. They were known mainly as limited-edition kaleidoscope artists. They also have had both an artistic background, studying at Prism Art School in Oak Park, Illinois, as well as technical backgrounds. A few of their limited editions are named “A Look into the Future,’ and “Moon Glow.” Their work was in the price range originally of $90 to $400.

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