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Morris Museum of Art to unveil art glass for permanent collection

Post Time:Sep 20,2019Classify:Industry NewsView:954

Three of the Morris Museum of Art’s galleries have received a facelift and will be re-opened to the public Sept. 21.

One of the galleries features a new permanent collection of studio art glass, which was bequeathed to the museum by Eugene Fleischer, an Augusta businessman and philanthropist, who died in 2018.

“I think that people will really like this. Glass is colorful, attractive, mysterious. South of northern Virginia, there’s nothing like this,” said Kevin Grogan, the museum’s executive director.

Fleischer collected the glass works for more than 25 years. What makes this collection special is that there are no commercially, mass-produced pieces – none by Tiffany, Lalique or Baccarat. And the works in the collection have ties to the South, which is the Morris Museum of Art’s focus.

In 2015, there was a temporary exhibition with some of the pieces, and for the exhibition, Fleischer wrote about his passion for collecting the art.

“My interest as a collector lies strictly with works of art using glass as the medium by individual artists – works that stand on their own merits as works of art. Also, I prefer unique objects, not editioned pieces,” he wrote.

The studio art glass movement is relatively young in the art world, said Grogan.

“It’s only about 57 years old. It’s a relatively modern thing,” he said.

Harvey Littleton inspired the movement. As a ceramicist and teacher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Littleton visited glassworks museums in Italy in the 1950s, according to Grogan. When he returned, he taught glassblowing workshops and began focusing more on glass than ceramics. His students included Dale Chihuly, Fritz Dreisbach and Mark Peiser.

He moved to North Carolina in the 1970s, where he taught at the Penland School of Craft for many years.

Littleton’s son, John, and daughter-in-law, Kate Vogel are also glass artists living in North Carolina. Works by John Littleton and Vogel are part of the recently acquired collection.

Fleischer gave about 200 pieces to the museum; about 55 of which are currently on display. Grogan said the pieces will be rotated but he doesn’t have a timetable for the frequency.

In October, there will be two special events in conjunction with the exhibition.

The Oct. 25 Art at Lunch program will feature a contemporary glass studio from noon to 2 p.m. with Nick Fruin discussing tools and techniques used in the Penland glass studios. The cost is $12 for museum members and $16 for nonmembers. Paid reservations must be made by Oct. 23.

On Oct. 26, Littleton and Vogel will discuss their works on display and talk about the history of the movement at 1 p.m. The program is free, but registration is required.

The abstract gallery has been relocated next to the glass gallery.

It features works by Randy Jones, an Atlanta artist who is an Augusta native, and Steven Naifeh, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of biographies of Jackson Pollock and Vincent Van Gogh and co-founder of Joye in Aiken.

The third gallery to be transformed will house a collection of works by Elliott Daingerfield, a North Carolina artist who studied in New York.

Grogan said the museum owns 103 of Daingerfield’s works, but only one has ever been on display. The museum has loaned out several of his works over the years.

Grogan said Daingerfield painted a mural at St. Thomas More Church in New York City and some of the pieces in the museum’s collection include his sketches for the mural.

The Morris Museum of Art is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and from noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5, $3 for ages 13-17, students, military and seniors age 65 and older. Admission is free on Sundays.

To learn more about the Morris Museum and its exhibitions, visit themorris.org.

Source: https://www.augustachronicle.com/Author: shangyi

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