Orlando Museum of Art

12/22/2012 - 05/12/2013

Contemporary Glass Sculpture

Contemporary Glass Sculpture: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Studio Glass

Glass has been used to make treasured objects for thousands of years. Throughout this time, its production has required teams of skilled craftsmen and considerable investments in factory or workshop facilities. These technical and financial demands prevented individual artists from adopting glass as the primary material for their work. This changed in 1962 when sculptor, Harvey K. Littleton, and scientist, Dominick Labino, presented two workshops that introduced pioneering methods for working with hot glass on a small scale.  These methods allowed artists to produce work in their studios without the burden of factory labor and equipment. Following these workshops, Littleton and others continued their experimental work while also teaching at universities and colleges. Within a few years, young artists throughout the United States and Europe were exploring the expressive possibilities of glass and the Studio Glass Movement was underway.

Contemporary Glass Sculpture: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Studio Glass has been organized by the Orlando Museum of Art to commemorate this historic moment and reflect on the creative achievements that followed. The exhibition includes work by several generations of important glass artists, including works by Littleton and his most prominent student Dale Chihuly, along with a broad range of American and European glass artists. Many of these artists pioneered innovative methods of glass making and established the dominant artistic directions of glass art for several decades. The exhibition also includes a number of artists who have departed from a pure glass aesthetic by introducing video, light and other media into their work. Their work is evidence of the continuing vitality of glass as a medium for contemporary art.

This exhibition is presented in three thematic sections highlighting the intrinsic qualities of glass that have attracted artists to the medium. The first section, Color, includes work which is inspired by elements of nature, traditional vessel shapes and abstract art, but is primarily about the expressive potential of form and color in glass sculpture. The second section, Representation, includes work that employs image, metaphor and narrative to convey meaning. While some of these artists work with glass exclusively, others incorporate other media, such as video, to expand the narrative scope of their work. The third section, Transparency, includes work produced in clear, opaque or colorless glass. In this work, glass becomes a space in which to hold light or interact with it in complex and fascinating ways.

The sculptures in this exhibition have been chosen from outstanding private collections in Central Florida with additional loans from individual artists and galleries. The Orlando Museum of Art is grateful to these lenders for making this exhibition possible.

An accompanying catalog has been produced for this exhibition and may be purchased through the Museum Shop. Please contact the Museum Shop for additional details about catalog availabilty and price.

This project is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program.



  • Cover of Exhibition Catalog. On the cover: Dale Chihuly, Citron and Cobalt Tower, 2004, blown glass, assembled, metal armature, 246 x 78 x 78 in., On long-term loan to the Orlando Museum of Art; Shared with the community by the law firm of Lowndes Drosdick Doster Kantor & Reed in commemoration of its 35th anniversary. © 2004 Dale Chihuly. Photo by Terry Rishel, Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, Florida, 2004.
  • Dale Chihuly, Macchia (Purple with Green Lip), 1996, blown glass, 22 1/2 x 30 x 28 1/2 in., Collection of Arnold and Susan Bierman. © 1996 Dale Chihuly. Photograph by Raymond Martinot.
  • Andrew Erdos, To the Bottom of the Sky, 2012, blown glass, two-way mirror, programmed LED lights
    44 x 28 x 70 in., Courtesy of Claire Oliver Gallery, New York. © 2012 Andrew Erdos. Photograph by Raymond Martinot.
  • Jon Kuhn and Paul J. Stankard, Collaborative #14: Flora, 2010, Kuhn: optical glass, cut, ground, bonded, steel base, Stankard: central floral motif, flameworked glass, 19 x 13 1/2 x 13 1/2 in., Courtesy of Lombard Contemporary Art, Florida. © 2010 Kuhn Studio and Paul J. Stankard. Photograph by Raymond Martinot.
  • Harvey Littleton, Rose Opal Combination Arc, 1989, blown glass, multiple cased overlays, cut, polished
    13 1/4 x 14 1/8 x 2 5/8 in. (large arc), 3 ½ x 7 x 2 7/8 in. (small arc), Collection of Barbara and Gary Sorensen. © 1989 Harvey K. Littleton. Photograph by Raymond Martinot.
  • Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora Mace, Red Delicious Apple, 2000, blown glass, glass powders, 13 x 16 x 12 in., Collection of Arnold and Susan Bierman. © 2000 Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora Mace. Photograph by Raymond Martinot.
  • William Morris, Suspended Artifacts, 1995, blown and formed glass and steel stand, 27 x 24 x 11 in., Collection of Arnold and Susan Bierman. © 1995 William Morris. Photograph by Raymond Martinot.
  • Lino Tagliapietra, Mandara, 2005, blown glass, colored filigree canes, fused, cut, ground, 31 1/4 x 16 x 6 in., Collection of Charles and Lynn Steinmetz. © 2005 Lino Tagliapietra. Photograph by Raymond Martinot.
  • Tim Tate, Mermaids Past Their Prime, 2010, blown and cast glass, electronic components, video, 20 x 8 x 8 in., Courtesy of Habatat Galleries, Michigan. © 2010 Tim Tate. Photograph courtesy of anythingphoto.net & Habatat Galleries, MI.
  • Toots Zynsky, Sognare, 2007, fused glass threads (filet de verre), kiln formed, 16 1/4 x 16 3/4 x 16 in., Collection of Charles and Lynn Steinmetz. © 2007 Toots Zynsky. Photograph by Raymond Martinot.
Event Pricing
  • Admission: $8.00

Intended For

  • Youth and Family
  • Teachers
  • Adults
  • Artist