With glass a relatively new art material (Harvey Littleton's seminal Toledo Workshop took place only in 1962), it's perhaps no surprise that the secondary market for work in glass is only now experiencing a maturation as resales pick up in volume. The value of works in glass, once mostly set in private transactions brokered by glass dealers or by appraisers documenting museum gifts, is being hammered out at public auction as an increasing supply of works at all price levels comes up for sale. As the generation that championed Studio Glass as it was ascendant in the 1980s and 1990s has reached an age where many are looking to sell or donate works, the supply of secondary works is growing, and sales are increasingly taking place in the open air of an auction with both established and new players. New York City auction houses such as Sotheby's and Bonham's organized Studio Glass sales throughout the 1990s and early-2000s, but in recent years, much of the activity has coalesced around Lambertville, New Jersey-based Rago Auctions, which studiously publishes sales prices of its glass-art auctions and provides exhaustive condition reports at all price levels.
On Saturday, September 17th, 2016, Chicago’s L.H. Selman Gallery is auctioning close to 400 glass paperweights that had been part of the Art Institute of Chicago’s permanent collection. The artwork on the block had been donated to the Institute by Arthur Rubloff, Potter and Pauline Palmer, Ella Grace Burwick and Lucy K. Kretchmer. According to Benjamin Clark, CEO and owner of L.H. Selman, the non-profit organization helping to create awareness of glass paperweights as an art form known as The Glass Paperweight Foundation "will receive 100-percent of the net proceeds of the buyer’s premium.” (The buyer’s premium is an additional cost a buyer pays when they win a lot. In this case it will be between 20-25% of the hammer price.) According to Christopher Monkhouse, the Eloise W. Martin Chair and Curator, Department of European Decorative Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago: “The net proceeds of the sale of will be used towards to purchase of artwork for the Art Institute of Chicago.” Monkhouse also explains that “deaccessioning artwork is a very sensitive matter for museums, but in rare occasions they are forced to do it, particularly when the collection is too large or a substantial number of close duplicates are kept in storage.” Case in point, Arthur Rubloff regularly acquired entire series of paperweights for one specific item, this eccentric practice naturally added sizeable numbers of duplicates to his collection. In 2012 after the Museum expanded the Arthur Rubloff Paperweight Gallery many of these paperweights were sent to storage because great examples were already on display. The museum is putting the duplicates back the in the hands of the public.
UPDATED: November 12, 2015 Of all the cities I've visited, New Orleans is the most human — the most alive. The city of New Orleans is a lot like a person, someone who is full of life, yet who has suffered and survived. A person with a story to tell, which undoubtedly begins and ends with an obstacle that has been overcome. Driving up to the YaYa Arts Center in Central City New Orleans, I was taken aback by how “new” the architecture of the buildings appeared. Construction had just been completed, and the shiny new center is surrounded by other new infrastructure, which, explained Lesley McBride, YaYa’s events and special projects manager, is the result of economic growth of the Central City neighborhood where the new YaYa is located.
This evening, April 23rd, the 14th MasterWorks Auction of Contemporary Glass Art will be held at an event space about half an hour north of Detroit in Berkley, Michigan. Starting at 7:30 PM, the gallery Habatat Galleries will begin aucitoning off 41 works by notable studio glass artists such as Dale Chihuly, Lino Tagliapietra, William Morris, and more. A diverse variety of pieces, from the 1970s onward, the lineup sprawls out into all glass mediums (cast, blown, cut and painted, mixed media etc.), from a lampworked sculpture by Ginny Ruffner to cast glass by Stanislav Libensky. To see all the works that will be coming up for bid, click here. This evening's event kicks off a weekend celebration of glass art culminating in the 43rd International Glass Invitational Award Exhibition which the gallery bills as "the largest glass exhibiiton in America," which opens this Saturday, April 25th, 2015, at 8 PM. Featured in this exhibition will be the work of 90 artists from 32 countries.
The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet missed two important fall glass art fundraisers in its recent roundup of events that chronicled the upcoming gala auctions at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington; the National LIberty Museum in Philadelphia; UrbanGlass in New York City; and Pilchuck in Seattle. On the evening of Friday, September 26th, the Pittsburgh Glass Center will be holding its annual Art on Fire Celebration and Auction, with honorary glass artist Jay MacDonell, and event co-chairs Cynthia Pierce Liefeld and Paul Liefeld.
The fall 2014 glass art auction season will kick off with the Red Hot Party & Auction at the Museum or Glass on September 21st, featuring Dante Marioni as the special guest in the "Hot Shop After Party" event. It will be just the first in a series of fundraising galas that will take place in the coming months, including a triple-play of auctions in October.
The International Summer Academy Bild-Werk Frauenau has developed into a prime center for glass art education over the past three decades. Home to the Glasmuseum Frauenau and to Erwin Eisch, considered the founding father of the Studio Glass movement in Europe and one of the founders of the Academy, Frauenau is located in a leading glass region between the Bavarian Forest in Bavaria, Germany, and the Bohemian Forest in the Czech Republic. The Academy began teaching workshops in 1987 with a primary focus on glass art, but has expanded into teaching in other disciplines such as painting, ceramics, wood, and bronze. Studio rentals for artists are available at Bild-Werk as well, making the studio and the region of Frauenau a great resource for artists living in or visiting this part of Germany.
Now in its tenth year, the American Glass Guild will host its tenth annual conference, this year titled "Glasstopia," in Bryn Athyn, Pennslyvania, from Thursday, June 26 through Monday, June 30. The guild is aimed at people with an "interest in stained, leaded and decorative glass and its preservation and restoration," according to the organiztion's Website.
As part of Bonhams upcoming 20th Century Decorative Arts auction on June 10th, 2014, there will be a number of significant works in glass from the collection of the late Sherley and Bernard Koteen, prominent Washington D.C.-area art patrons, collectors and board members of the James Renwick Alliance who died within a week of one another in February 2013. Starting at 1 P.M. at Bonhams' New York location on Madison Avenue, works by Judy Kensley McKie, Michael Lucero, Therman Statom, Ruth Duckworth, Rudy Autio, Betty Woodman, Albert Paley, and Dante Marioni will be coming up for bid. Mark Peiser’s paperweight glass vase, titled, Oak and Spanish Moss, will be up for sale at an estimated value of $12,000-18,000. Also present amongst those artists will be several pieces by Dale Chihuly from his Macchia series of glass vessels.