This exhibition presented 40 favorite sculptures and vessels from the Museum’s extensive permanent collection of contemporary studio glass. Many of these objects are well known to Museum visitors, who have seen them in the Contemporary Glass Gallery.
The show was part of a year-long series of contemporary glass exhibitions at the Museum. It accompanied the special exhibition Voices of Contemporary Glass: The Heineman Collection, which was installed throughout the summer and fall in the Contemporary Glass Gallery. Voices of Contemporary Glass displayed the 240 studio glass objects in the Heineman Collection, a major gift to the Museum in 2009.
Favorites from the Contemporary Glass Collection brought together some of the artworks that are repeatedly singled out by Museum visitors. They range from a large flameworked sphere by Susan Plum and colorful blown vessels by Dante Marioni to a monumental cast dress by Karen LaMonte and a family portrait of flameworked “molecular” forms by Jill Reynolds.
To identify these favorites, the Museum surveyed its education staff, docents, security guards, and others who interact with the public on a daily basis. Curator of modern glass, Tina Oldknow, added some of her favorite pieces, including objects that were exhibited at the Museum for the first time.
Contemporary glass is fascinating for its sometimes unexpected approach to material and expression of ideas, for the versatility and skill of the artists, and for the beauty and often large size of the objects. The artists represented in the Favorites exhibition take an innovative approach to glass and to glassforming techniques, and their art work conveys a freshness of thought. All of the pieces have a distinctive style, and each has a story or an idea to share.