NJ350: Through the Lens of Glass
Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center joins the state-wide celebration of the 350th anniversary of New Jersey with a program, NJ350: Through the Lens of Glass. The program includes a major exhibition in the Museum of American Glass and a series of educational activities, including special demonstrations in the WheatonArts’ Artist Studios, hands-on experiences and family events at various locations on our campus.
NJ350: Through the Lens of Glass will explore the relationship between glass and South Jersey from the Colonial Era to the present day. The exhibit will feature the renowned collection and archives of the Museum of American Glass, oral histories of local glassmakers and examples of the glass craft and artistry of artists currently working in the region in order to show the continuity and change in the South Jersey glass tradition.
Drawing connections between the past and present, the visitors can explore why glass making started and remains in South Jersey — from the natural resources to the influence of immigration patterns — from how glass made in New Jersey reflects important historical events to the influence of business practices on the glass makers’ lives. The exhibit will also explore how glass making in South Jersey evolved, is remembered and interpreted. Featuring production ware, craft, and art made from glass in New Jersey, visitors will see how knowledge and hand-skills have been passed down to today’s glassmakers. From making reproductions and replicas to the innovate use of traditional techniques, the South Jersey glass tradition lives on. NJ350: Through the Lens of Glass tells the story of the special role WheatonArts plays in preserving the traditional knowledge, values, and skills of the South Jersey glassmaking tradition, while offering opportunities for contemporary artists to add new meaning and individual artistic vision to the continuation of glassmaking in southern New Jersey.
In conjunction, the exhibit will also feature Object Conversations, a participatory component that engages visitors with the process of history by asking them to share their stories about South Jersey glass artifacts, work in the glass factories or glass related events.
Visitors will also be able to vote on the question of “Art? Craft? Both?” in relation to a specific object, with discussion encouraged on the tours. Quotes by artists will be provided to open the dialogue.
Durand: Made in New Jersey
Only in operation from 1924 through 1931, the “fancy shop” at the Vineland Flint Glass Works in Vineland, NJ made an impact on the American glass world with their Durand Art Glass line. Drawing from the same decorative Art Nouveau trends as Tiffany and Quezal, Durand Art Glass had its own style, earning them a gold medal at the Sesquicentennial International Exhibition in 1926.
To celebrate the creativity and craftsmanship of this home grown company during New Jersey’s 350th anniversary, Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center is exhibiting over 50 pieces of Durand Art Glass in Durand: Made In New Jersey, running from April 1st 2014 through January 4th, 2015 in the Museum of American Glass.
King Tut Stick Vase in gold over opal with green coil decoration
Durand Art Glass, Vineland, NJ 1924-1931