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Chrysler Museum Opens Glass Studio

Will Bring its Extensive Glass Collection to Life

NORFOLK, Va. – (October 2011) – The Chrysler Museum of Art opens the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio on November 2 to complement the world-class glass collection in the Museum. The addition of the Glass Studio enhances the Museum’s stature as one of only two comprehensive art museums in the United States with a glass studio. The Glass Studio is located in a 7,000-square-foot building at 745 Duke Street, adjacent to the Museum in Norfolk.

The $7.5 million Glass Studio construction and operations are fully endowed from generous contributions from glass enthusiasts and Museum supporters. The Museum acknowledges the Pat and Doug Perry family for their significant investment in its creation. Internationally known glassmaster Lino Tagliapietra will create a work of art to inaugurate the Glass Studio in a private event for donors and media on Nov. 1.

“The state-of-the-art facility will accommodate both aspiring and master glass artists with a furnace that can melt 560 pounds of glass, a full hot shop, a flameworking studio, nine annealing ovens and a coldworking area,” says Charlotte Potter, studio manager. “The Museum will have a visiting artist series and an artist-in-residency program that will attract some of the leading artists in contemporary glass, as well as emerging artists.” 

Visitors will be able to enjoy free glassblowing demonstrations, and the Museum will offer a series of classes and workshops for students and adults. These will include a range of educational programs from beginners to master classes for accomplished professional artists.

“It will be an entirely new experience for our visitors,” says Bill Hennessey, the Museum’s director. “In addition to the study and display of art, we can show them the magic behind the creation of art as well. The Glass Studio will allow our visitors to experience glassmaking and be involved in every step of the process.  We anticipate this will draw people to the region to learn about glass and meet visiting glass artists and tour our collection. We expect this to be a significant educational component for the region—one that will allow us to further strengthen our partnerships with Virginia Wesleyan College and the Governor’s School for the Arts.  With more than a third of our 30,000-object collection devoted to glass, this is clearly a strong suit for the Chrysler. This Glass Studio will bring these works of art to life.”

The Museum’s glass collection includes more than 10,000 pieces that span 3,000 years and is considered one of the largest and most wide-ranging collections in the world.  It has inspired glass enthusiasts for decades with its depth, including a world-famous Tiffany collection, plus American, French, English, Italian and contemporary glass art. 

“The Glass Studio will help our visitors gain a better understanding and appreciation for the wonderful objects in our collection,” says Kelly Conway, curator of glass. “We devote a lot of time explaining the technical processes used to make these artworks. The Studio will provide far more capable and lively answers for these technique-based questions from our visitors, and tours will connect the live studio experience with the contextual history explained in the glass galleries.”

A special grand opening week starts November 2 with free daily demonstrations by the Chrysler Glass Studio Team including Potter, technician Robin Rogers and artist Julia Rogers, in addition to visiting artists. There will be four lively demonstrations on Wed., Nov. 2 at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.  There will be three demonstrations daily at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, demonstrations are scheduled for 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. with a ticketed performance by the glass performance troupe Burnt Asphalt Family at 8 p.m.  Free demonstrations are offered on Sunday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. For full details on demonstrations and class schedules, visit chrysler.org.

The Chrysler Museum of Art is one of America’s most distinguished mid-sized art museums with a world-class collection of more than 30,000 objects, including one of the great glass collections in America and the new Glass Studio. The Museum is located at 245 West Olney Road in Norfolk, and the Studio is located across the street at 745 Duke Street. Both are open Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Thursdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sundays, noon-5 p.m. The Chrysler campus is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, as well as on major holidays. Admission to the Museum’s collection in 62 galleries and the new Glass Studio is free. For exhibitions, programming, classes and special events, visit chrysler.org or call (757) 664-6200. 

Contact Cindy Mackey
cmackey@chrysler.org
(757) 754-4553

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