Glass Study Gallery: Modern and Contemporary Glass

Modern and Contemporary Glass

Dale Chihuly (American, born 1941), Gold Over Turquoise-Blue Venetian #528. Glass, blown; gold leaf and tooled decoration, 1990. Study Gallery

The works of modern and contemporary glass in the Glass Pavilion Study Gallery span primarily from the 1960s to the present day.

In the United States during the mid-20th century, a key new development emerged: glassmaking in non-factory settings. Artists experimented with glass using so-called warm glassworking methods, by softening, shaping, and fusing glass in ceramic kilns. For American glass artists to make the leap from isolated glass experiments, three conditions had to coalesce: focused artistic activity on the part of glass artists; access to technical knowledge; and sustained validation of the work of glass artists by galleries, museums, and universities.

These conditions were made possible in 1962 with two experimental glassblowing workshop-seminars held on the grounds of the Toledo Museum of Art and since known as the Toledo Workshops. These workshops inspired a generation of artists to explore glass as a medium for artistic expression, giving birth to the American Studio Glass Movement. Studio glass is a dynamic art form that has grown and spread around the world, continually pushing the boundaries of what glass is and what it can do.