Museum of Glass and the Tacoma Tourism and Arts Community Prepare to Host the 2022 Glass Art Society Conference, May 18-21

After a two-year delay, Museum of Glass (MOG), Travel Tacoma, and several other community arts and culture organizations will welcome the Glass Art Society (GAS) for their annual international conference May 18-21. Conference events will span downtown Tacoma and include a special new community event, the first annual TAG Festival: Together… in Art and Glass which will take place on May 22.

Each year GAS brings together the international community of glass artists, collectors, and
enthusiasts for a multi-day conference featuring glass from every discipline. Museum of Glass
and Travel Tacoma partnered to bring this year’s conference to Tacoma. Originally scheduled
for 2020 and delayed due to COVID-19, the 2022 event holds much significance.


“It was already noteworthy for Tacoma to host the GAS Conference, but for it to be the first inperson gathering of the community in two years, that makes it even more special,” said Debbie
Lenk, Executive Director, Museum of Glass. “Glass is part of the soul of this city. Hosting the
conference as Museum of Glass celebrates 20 years and the Glass Art Society celebrates its
50th marks a great moment for the Pacific Northwest glass community.”


This year marks the first time Tacoma, an international center for glass, will host the GAS
conference. It provides a unique opportunity for the city to be formally recognized for its
influence and place in the glass community. The event will also bring tourism and community
activities to downtown. Conference events will take place at MOG, Tacoma Art Museum, Area
253 Glassblowing, Hilltop Artists, LeMay: America’s Car Museum, and the Greater Tacoma
Convention Center.


“Tacoma celebrates glass artists and all artists as they come together in the spirit of community
and expression,” said Dean Burke, President and CEO, Travel Tacoma. “This partnership and
collaboration is a visionary one, ready to welcome the biggest names in the industry to our city.”
The TAG arts festival, co-led by Travel Tacoma, MOG, and TAM, for which details will be
announced shortly, will span downtown and feature local artists, food venders, performers, and
more. GAS tickets are available both for the entire duration of the conference and by the day.
The full event schedule can be found here.

What Are You Talking About? Conversation Series

In coordination with the exhibition What Are You Looking At? An Eccentric Chorus of Artists Working in Glass, Museum of Glass is hosting virtual conversations on Thursdays with artists included in the exhibition. Interviews will examine the career trajectory of these artists and the role their residencies at Museum of Glass and Pilchuck Glass School played in their artistic development. Each artist will discuss the pieces featured in the exhibition and how they arrived at the ideas for the work.

Moderated by a MOG educator, talks will last approximately 45 minutes.

Thursdays from October 21, 2021 through November
12pm on Facebook live

October 21 – Joe Feddersen

October 28 – Megan Stelljes

November 18 – Vivian Beer

A New Kind of Community Garden #HOPEGROWSHERE

Whether you’ve been out of a walk or running errands through Downtown Tacoma, you may have noticed many newly installed window displays. Each containing floral artwork accompanied with a simple message, Hope Grows Here.

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Staying home in an effort to fight the current global health crisis is important, but isolation can be difficult for many individuals. This is why MOG and many other establishments have come together, with the support of MultiCare, to bring messages of hope during this unprecedented time.

MultiCare describes this initiative as:

“For the past several weeks, we have seen local artists and businesses create dozens of window gardens throughout our cities and neighborhoods in order to spread hope and remind each other that we’re all in this together. These window gardens are collages of flowers with words of hope and words of appreciation for health care and essential workers. Many community members have joined by decorating their own windows at home.

We hope these flowers remind you that although you may be experiencing physical or emotional isolation, you are not alone. We’re all in this together.”

Visit MultiCare’s page to view their gallery of #HOPEGROWSHERE window art, volunteer and donation opportunities, or how you can support healthcare workers with words of encouragement. Let the art lead the way to help those in need. We are in this together.

#TacomaStrong #HopeGrowsHere

 

Don’t call it a comeback….

That’s right folks, As the Pipe Turns, the one and only Museum of Glass blog is back to bring you all the glass-related information you didn’t know you needed. As the Museum adapts to these changing times the blog will become a place to continue exploring your passion for glass – including interviews with artists, behind the scenes details from the Curatorial team, community events, and more.

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Now more than ever, it is essential for MOG to continue igniting creativity, fueling discovery, and enriching lives through glass and glassmaking. While engagement with the Museum may look a little different, Museum of Glass remains a place to share and promote the importance of art in the community. So, please comment what YOU want to hear about and let’s get the conversation going.

Thank you for your continued support and be sure to follow As the Pipe Turns for upcoming post updates.

 

Care and Handling of Artwork at Museum of Glass: Protection from Thieves and Vandals and Disassociation

By Rebecca Engelhardt, Registrar/Collections Manager

As part of our ongoing series on the care of artwork at Museum of Glass (MOG), this post reviews the methods that we employ for protecting our collections from thieves and vandalism.

When not on view, artwork at MOG is stored in a secure space with limited access.
When not on view, artwork at MOG is stored in a secure space with limited access.

It is always a delicate balance between putting artwork out for visitors to enjoy today and protecting pieces for future visitors to appreciate. This explains the myriad of Plexiglas® vitrines and metal barriers you often encounter in MOG’s galleries: they protect artwork while it is out on display.

Dale Chihuly’s artwork from our exhibition, Origins: Early works by Dale Chihuly, 2009, rests safely inside Plexiglas® vitrines in the gallery.
Dale Chihuly’s artwork from our exhibition, Origins: Early works by Dale Chihuly, 2009, rests safely inside Plexiglas® vitrines in the gallery.

Sometimes it is not possible to fit artwork inside a vitrine, so we use metal railings (stanchions) to encourage visitors to stand back and enjoy.
Sometimes it is not possible to fit artwork inside a vitrine, so we use metal railings (stanchions) to encourage visitors to stand back and enjoy.

Lots of artwork comes in and out of MOG for our exhibitions and storage in our Permanent Collection. Each of these objects is logged into our database and tracked as it makes its journey.

Screen shot from MOG’s The Museum System database.
Screen shot from MOG’s The Museum System database.

Goblets from the traveling exhibition Lino Tagliapietra in Retrospect: A Modern Renaissance in Italian Glass are tagged for inventory control prior to deinstallation at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., 2008. This ensures that each piece is packed in the correct box and tracked as it is shipped to the next venue.
Goblets from the traveling exhibition Lino Tagliapietra in Retrospect: A Modern Renaissance in Italian Glass are tagged for inventory control prior to deinstallation at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., 2008. This ensures that each piece is packed in the correct box and tracked as it is shipped to the next venue.

Registrar/Collections Manager completes condition report of work by Fred Wilson from the exhibition Mining Glass. Before pieces of art are packed and shipped, each component is inspected and any concerns or details are noted on the condition report. The process is repeated after the piece has arrived safely at the next location, and ensures that the artwork stays safe.
Registrar/Collections Manager completes condition report of work by Fred Wilson from the exhibition Mining Glass. Before pieces of art are packed and shipped, each component is inspected and any concerns or details are noted on the condition report. The process is repeated after the piece has arrived safely at the next location, and ensures that the artwork stays safe.

The information tracked by the Museum not only forms the historical provenance of the artwork, but is invaluable in the event of a loss or damage that either requires repair by a conservator or filing an insurance claim.

These methods of inventory control also protect against a condition called “disassociation”. Disassociation results from the natural tendency for ordered systems to fall apart over time. Objects in museums which have been separated from their history or meaning have limited historical or cultural value.

For example, the amazing installation Landscape, created by artists Ingalena Klenell and Beth Lipman in 2008-2010 (now in the Museum’s Permanent Collection) and composed of over 400 individual pieces of glass, could become a pile of scrap glass if it was separated from its inventory control sheet and installation map.

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Or this bowl, which we know is made by Barovier & Toso, one of the oldest Venetian glass families, loses its significance if we don’t retain that information for future generations of museum staff, researchers, and visitors.

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Much like those photographs of mysterious ancestors that find their way into antique shops,if you don’t know their names and the names of their descendants, the photos lose much of their historic value.

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Stay tuned for more posts from MOG’s curatorial team, including protecting art from fire, water, and pests!

Rebecca Engelhardt is the Registrar/Collections Manager at Museum of Glass. Her background includes ten years at MOG, plus time at major museums such as Smithsonian Institution and The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.