Completely reimagined, the museum presents a compelling arrangement of the distinguished and growing glass art collection. For the new display, the museum consulted with the Seattle-based independent curator and craft scholar Vicki Halper.
Notably, Halper curated WAM’s popular 2014 summer exhibition Australian Glass Art, American Links for the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington.
Revealing WAM’s rich holdings, the variety, quality, and artistry of Steuben glass will be on view. In fascinating ways, the exquisite work of the Steuben Glass Works, the world-class glass manufacturer (1903—2011), continues to beguile and inspire artists. The new installation acknowledges and examines how contemporary glass artists explore the continuing allure and legacy of Steuben. Magnificent work by such living artists as Dante Marioni and Kiki Smith will be on view.
The new collection display will also feature a new commission–an elaborate, Steuben-inspired candelabrum–by glass artist Andy Paiko. This special work is effervescent! It incorporates an abundantly enthusiastic array of forms and techniques first developed by Steuben. Paiko’s tapering candle holders hang gracefully from the central form, each demonstrating the Steuben “air-twist” technique, perfected by designer George Thompson. The cinched, bell-shaped forms of the upper part of the large-scale candleholder are typical of Thompson’s designs. WAM’s collection includes original sketches by Thompson during his time working for Steuben, making Paiko’s reimagining of Thompson’s forms particularly relevant to the collection.