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Lancaster's Ohio Glass Museum receives part of former Cambridge exhibit

Post Time:Mar 16,2012Classify:Industry NewsView:357

About 500 colorful glass pieces that once were on display at a museum in Cambridge have found a new home in Fairfield County.


The Ohio Glass Museum in Lancaster is one of three museums in the U.S. to receive pieces from the Degenhart Glass Museum in Cambridge, which closed March 1.


The Degenhart Glass Museum was named after John and Elizabeth Degenhart, who founded the Crystal Art Glass Co. in 1947.


The couple manufactured paperweights and reproduction pressed wares and novelties, such as slippers, perfume bottles, ashtrays and toothpick holders, according to the Degenhart Glass Museum website.


Pattie Frohnapfel, archives director for The Ohio Glass Museum, said original and collectible pieces from the Degenhart Glass Museum will be available for public viewing starting March 24.


"We were fortunate to be able to receive a piece of history from someone who loved producing glass," she said.


Among the Degenhart pieces given to the Ohio Glass Museum are collections of shoes and slippers, 48 Priscilla dolls, 135 pooches and a number of Whimsies.


The museum also has a collection of paperweights, three of which were made by John Degenhart, as well some pieces from Elizabeth Degenhart's private collection.


Frohnapfel said she first made contact with someone from the Degenhart Glass Museum in April 2011.


"They were talking about closing then and were looking for people interested in books from their library," she said.


When Frohnapfel asked what would happen if the museum closed, the museum official told her a new home would have to be found for everything.


The Ohio Glass Museum is one of several "new homes." Pieces from the Degenhart Glass Museum also went to The Museum of American Art Glass in Weston, W.Va., and The Strongsville (Ohio) Historical Society.


"They had a following down there (at the Degenhart Glass Museum) so I'm sure this will bring in more people," Frohnapfel said of the collection.


The Degenhart's story and their love of glassmaking began with the Crystal Art Glass Co.


During that time, the couple traveled to fairs and festivals to sell their glass.


"It was really a labor of love for them," Frohnapfel said.


In 1964, John Degenhart died but his wife continued manufacturing glass, introducing new moulds and glass colors to her production line, according to the Degenhart Glass Museum website.


In total, Degenhart Crystal Art Glass produced pressed novelties from 55 moulds, nine of which were of Elizabeth Degenhart's own design, according to the website. The glassworks were made in more than 250 colors.


"Color was their big thing," Frohnapfel said.


In 1978, Elizabeth Degenhart died. One of her wishes was that everything she and her husband had done would become part of a museum.


Frohnapfel said she's glad the Ohio Glass Museum could help to keep that wish alive.


"We're very happy to be able to continue to share that history," she said.

Source: www.lancastereaglegazette.comAuthor: shangyi

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