W.Va. exhibit spotlights Kelsey Murphy cameo glass designs
WESTON, W.Va. – As part of the nationwide 50th anniversary celebration of the studio glass movement, The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia (MAG) is presenting an exhibit of what is described as “the world’s most extravagant contemporary cameo glass.” The exhibit, which opens with an artist’s reception Sept. 21 and runs through Dec. 29, 2012 at MAG in Weston, W.Va., provides a rare opportunity to see 40 pieces of Pilgrim cameo glass from the private collection of Drs. Joseph and Omayna Touma.
This exquisite glass was created from objects made of up to five layers of different colors of glass at the Pilgrim Glass Corporation, which closed in 2002. Fortunately blanks were conserved for future use. Each piece was designed and painstakingly carved by Kelsey Murphy and Robert Bomkamp to reveal the various colors below the surface creating multi-colored images of flowers, trees, animals, scenes and other lovely designs. The diversity of the artistry is amazing and must be seen to be appreciated.
The Toumas have been appreciative of the glass from its beginning in the 1980s and have enjoyed collecting Pilgrim cameo from the simple and small to the huge and complex. They feel it is one of the greatest accomplishments in art glass of the 20th and 21st centuries and marvel at the stories and the beauty of the art and its execution.
“It is so much fun to deliver a piece to the Toumas,” said Kelsey Murphy. “They really get the story and understand the hundreds of hours that Bob and I have invested in every piece.”
This exhibit will give the viewer a broad palette of color, shape, size and image reinforcing visually the commitment, imagination and experience of the over 100 glass blowers, technicians, artisans and artists that made Pilgrim cameo glass a reality.
The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia is open daily Memorial Day through Labor Day noon to 4:00pm. The balance of the year the museum is open daily noon to 4:00pm and closed on Wednesday and Sunday. Admission is free. It is easily accessible off I-79 exit 99 onto US 33 West for two miles to Main Avenue. A left turn onto Main and the museum is on the left at 230 Main Avenue.
Begun in 1992, the museum relocated to its present location in 2007 and occupies 12,000 square feet with over 12,000 pieces of glass on permanent display. The museum is home to the National Marble Museum and The American Flint Glass Workers Union Archives. The museum holds an annual marble festival and numerous special exhibits throughout the year. More information can be found at http://magwv.com/. Questions about programs or the museum can be directed to 304-269-5006.
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