Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass for the Fort Wayne Museum of Glass|
Posting Number 3431 Date: 08/03/20 Return to Posting List
Join Chief Curator Charles Shepard for a virtual tour of Contemporary Glass Sculpture from the Collection, an exhibition of work from our growing collection of the unique form of art. With its origins in the United States, studio glass sculpture has captured some of the most talented sculptors to push the boundaries of this medium. Thanks to Audrey Lipton for bringing our attention to this interesting virtual tour and background on contemporary glass. Click below to view.
Continued Tribute to Jane Spillman
A Tribute to Jane Spillman
Glass Club Bulletin of The National American Glass Club, no. 236, Spring 2020, pp. 1423.
Reprinted by permission.
Jane Shadel Spillman: An Appreciation
Dwight P. Lanmon
I met Jane Shadel for the first time in 1966. I was attending my first Corning Seminar on Glass. She had joined the staff the year before, having graduated from the prestigious Cooperstown Program. At that time, none of the professional staff of the Museum bore specialist collection titles, and they all worked across the board. Her title was then Research Assistant, and she was also in charge of education. She worked closely with Ken Wilson, who was Curator. Paul Perrot was Director. Paul was nominally in charge of ancient and Islamic glass, while Ken worked with the American collections. Axel von Saldern was in charge of European glass. Jane was given assignments in all of the collection areas.
I recall being at Janes house near the Museum at Seminar a year later. Seminars were then five-day affairs, and they usually attracted a devoted group of about 40 participants who returned faithfully every year. The staff was expected to give evening parties to participants. I remember that she gave a party that year. Jane was promoted to Assistant Curator in 1971. During the 1972 flood that inundated the city of Corning, the Chemung River Valley, and The Corning Museum of Glass and Glass Center (to a depth of five feet, four inches on the second floor of the building), Janes rented house (on the flood plain) was swept a mile downstream. Ken Wilson left the Museum to join the staff of the Toledo Museum of Art in 1973, and I joined the Museums staff shortly thereafter. Jane married attorney Don Spillman shortly after we arrived, and I remember that she and Don skipped happily down the aisle after exchanging wedding vows. They had two children, Sam and Beth.
Sid Goldstein also joined the Museums staff in 1973, and as Chief Curator, I revamped the organization of the curatorial department by assigning specific collection responsibilities. Jane became Assistant Curator of American Glass, and she blossomed in her new role! She was promoted to Associate Curator, American Glass, in 1975 and to Curator in 1977. In addition to focusing on the development of detailed installation plans for the new museum building, which opened in 1980, she began working on a series of publications and special exhibitions. She worked with me to develop the Museums first exhibition after the flood: Glassmaking: Americas First Industry, which coincided with the Nations Bicentennial in 1976. Jane was responsible for the installation of 19th- and 20th-century American glass, which took up one-third of the Museums entire gallery space. She wrote the catalog for the exhibition.
She followed that the next year with another special exhibition, The Cut and Engraved Glass of Corning: 18681940, and co-authored the catalog of the same name with Estelle Sinclaire Farrar. They later co-authored another book, The Complete Cut and Engraved Glass of Corning, which was published by Crown in 1979. She published several more articles and catalogs on cut glass subjects in the years following.
Hard on the heels of the opening of the new museum, Jane completed her comprehensive catalog of the Museums pressed glass collection in 1981. Titled American and European Pressed Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass, the book runs to 404 pages and has more than 1,500 illustrations. It was the second of the Museums complete collection catalogs to be published.
Jane focused on Glass from Worlds Fairs, 18511904 as the subject of the Museums 1986 special exhibition and wrote the catalog accompanying it. In 1989 she developed another special exhibition in Corning and wrote the catalog for Dining at the White House: Two Centuries of Presidential Tableware. In 1990, The Corning Museum organized an exhibition of American glass that was shown in Latvia and Russia, culminating in its spectacular installation in the Hall of St. George in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Jane and Susanne Frantz, the Museums Curator of Contemporary Glass, wrote the catalog (Masterpieces of Glass) for that exhibition, which was published simultaneously in Russian and English. She also organized two more special exhibitions in Corning: The Queens Collection: Danish Royal Glass in 1996, and in 2006 Glass of the Maharajas: European Glass Furnishings for Eastern Palaces and wrote the catalog. In 2011, she completed Ken Wilsons monumental study of the Mt. Washington and Pairpoint Glass factories, which was left unfinished at his death. And more recently she undertook work on Paul Hollisters massive unfinished study of window glass.
In her 48 years at the Museum, Jane participated as a lecturer 36 times in the Corning Seminar on Glass, which must surely be the record for repeat appearances by a speaker. She also authored more than 160 articles on various aspects of American and European glass, including several that appeared in the Museums Journal of Glass Studies, starting in 1970. She also served as president of the National American Glass Club from 2013 to 2015 and editor of its publication, Glass Club Bulletin, from 1999 to 2015, in addition to serving significant roles in other professional organizations.
Jane has been an important fixture in the American glass scene for so long, and her contributions have been important and influential. Her many friends and colleagues join me in sending her a hearty Thank You! for her amazing contributions that help us better understand and appreciate the subject we love.
Fort Wayne Museum of Art
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