Museum pavilion set for ‘Art of Glass’ unveiling in AugustWritten by Joel Sensenig | Managing Editor | email@example.com
Art lovers will get a clear glimpse into the city’s glass heritage at the end of August, when the Toledo Museum of Art’s Glass Pavilion is unveiled to the public.
Actually, simply driving by the structure across Monroe Street from the museum will be a study of the fragile art medium in the Glass City.
“The building itself is a work of art,” TMA curator of glass Jutta-
Annette Page said. “It will be a catalyst for the Toledo arts community. It is a very unusual structure.”
The $27 million, 76,000-square-foot structure is made largely of the same material it will showcase.
TMA is hosting a public inauguration of the pavilion Aug. 27. Members will have access to a week’s worth of preview events beginning Aug. 22 (go to www. toledomuseum.org for more information).
While some of the museum’s glass collection will remain in the main building to provide an integrated art display there, the pavilion will hold many of the city’s most prized glass pieces.
The first exhibition is fittingly titled “The Art of Glass.”
“We’ll be highlighting new pieces we’ve obtained in the last few years,” Page said. The curator, who has been at the museum since September 2003, will present many of the glass works to the public for the first time, as most of the collection has been off-view for more than three years. In that time, Page said, the glass has been studied, cleaned, cataloged and included in her recently published, fully illustrated book, “The Art of Glass.”
Some of those prized possessions of the museum include the French Louis XIV medallion, just purchased in May; Dale Chihuly’s crystal chandelier, a 12-foot, 6-inch piece that stands as one of the largest pieces in the Toledo glass collection; an ancient gilded Islamic mosque lamp from Egypt; and the American cut-glass Libbey Punch Bowl.
Because the glass-walled structure will let in plenty of sunlight, Museum officials must protect those pieces of art that are more sensitive to heat and light. They are conducting climate tests in the pavilion’s galleries. In addition, some rooms have “black box” capabilities for the more light-sensitive objects, and can be made entirely void of light if desired, said Sara Stacy, museum public information officer.
The Glass Pavilion will be much more than a place to observe completed works, however.
The pavilion houses two glassblowing rooms, one of which will allow visitors to sit down in stadium-style seating to observe new glass items being made by visiting artists and students, Stacy said.
The new structure will greatly increase the capabilities and hands-on exposure budding artists will have access to.
“We are certainly looking forward to opening it up,” Page said. “I actually believe it will be spectacular, and I am very proud to be part of it.”