This Thursday, curator and critic Tina Oldknow will present a public lecture “A Short History of the American Studio Glass Movement, from Beginning to End” at the Bard Graduate Center in New York City. Oldknow, who describes her upcoming talk as an “informal recap of the history of the American Studio Glass movement,” brings a unique perspective to this topic as she presided over the restructuring and expansion of the contemporary glass collections at The Corning Museum of Glass and its Contemporary Art and Design Gallery. This new wing debuted in 2015, adding thousands of feet of exhibition space for new, larger-scale artworks in glass, while also creating new opportunities to define the Studio Glass movement and its influence on contemporary artists working in the material. She explained, “I feel it is important to distinguish what happened in the United States from what happened in Europe, Australia, and Japan, for example, because all those histories are parallel but separate.”
“What I did in Corning was to look at context, at the different ways in which studio glass has been presented over the decades,” Oldknow stated in an email correspondence with the Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet. In the modern gallery, for example, she “included glass dating from 1962 to 1975...so that it could be seen in the context of mid-century American and European design. To me, that best reveals the radical nature of mid-century American studio glass.” Further, “For the large studio glass/contemporary glass gallery, I approached studio glass as it was most often displayed in the 1980s and 1990s and even now, with contemporary sculpture, craft, and design mixed in all together.”
In a gesture that relates to the recent efforts of art entrepreneurs like Adrian Berengo to invite talented artists without previous experience in glass making to create contemporary art, Oldknow, in the new galleries of contemporary art and design at the Museum of Glass in Corning, “exhibited vessels, sculptures, installations, and design by internationally-known contemporary artists who came to glass from outside the glass world with internationally-known contemporary artists who use glass as their primary material. Not making a distinction between “blue-chip” contemporary artists and designers and artists and designers coming from the glass world. The works are all strong and complement each other well, as I knew they would.”
Given Oldknow’s extensive knowledge and experience, audience members are likely in for a treat. Oldknow certainly looks forward to the lecture, saying, “it will be fun to re-examine the information, look at myths and at reality.” She then expressed, “I hope there are young glass students in the audience who have never heard of Harvey Littleton, and who are unaware of the beginnings of American studio glass. They are in for a good story.”
IF YOU GO:
"A Short History of the American Studio Glass Movement, from Beginning to End"
March 22nd, 2018
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
38 West 86th St.
New York, New York 10024