Lerner Exhibit Honors Studio Glass 50th Anniversary

For Immediate Release
September 13, 2012
Media Contact:
Chris Potash
(610) 432-4333 ext. 125
Allentown Art Museum joins celebration of 50th Anniversary of Studio Glass
Allentown, PA—The Allentown Art Museum is honored to present The Lerner Contemporary Glass Collection, a selection of twenty-one spectacular glassworks culled from the collection of Allentown residents Elaine and Leslie Lerner. The exhibition is being held in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of Studio Glass celebration organized by the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG). This stunning arrangement of glass objects will be illuminated by the natural light that enters Linny and Beall Fowler Gallery’s nine-foot-tall windows and will be a colorful contrast to the Museum’s other fall special exhibitions, Franz Kline: Coal and Steel and Walker Evans & The American Social Landscape Photographers, on display in adjacent Scheller and Rodale Galleries.
Until the 1960s, glasswork was considered to be a craft, not an art form. The birth of contemporary art glass—the Studio Glass Movement—has been traced back to March 23, 1962, when Harvey Littleton and Dominick Labino began a ten-day workshop at the Toledo Museum of Art. Littleton and Labino demonstrated small, recently developed gas furnaces and new glass formulae that eliminated the need for large production facilities and opened up the possibility of creating glasswork in studios, thus personalizing the creative act. This event coincided with the rise of postmodernism, when artists experimented with materials beyond traditional media such as painting and sculpture, helping to establish glass as a viable medium for fine art.
The Lerner Contemporary Glass Collectionwill be on display from Sunday, October 7, 2012, through April 28, 2013.
Featured in The Lerner Contemporary Glass Collection are twenty-one works by fifteen different glass artists, including Lino Tagliapietra, Sidney Hunter, Dante Marioni, and the collaborative team of Harvey Littleton and Kate Vogel. The works were selected from more than eighty works that comprise the Lerner Collection. Elaine and Leslie Lerner began collecting glass about twenty-five years ago, at first focusing on one-of-a-kind decorative glass perfume bottles. They soon became serious collectors of original glass works after attending several glass art shows in New York and Chicago. Over the years the Lerners have added pieces from more than twenty-five well known glass artists to their continually growing collection, including Jon Kuhn, Steven Weinberg, Kéké Cribbs, Stephen Rolfe Powell, Davide Salvadore, and Sidney Hutter. Today the Lerners are advised by several private galleries on new, emerging glass artists.
The Lerners’ impressive collection normally resides in their home in Allentown, but they are pleased to join with the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG) in celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the glass art movement. The AACG is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to further the development and appreciation of art made from glass. To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the development of studio art glass in America and recognize the many talented artists who have worked in the glass medium, more than 160 demonstrations, lectures, and exhibitions have been taking place in museums, galleries, art centers, universities, organizations, festivals, and other venues across the United States throughout 2012.
A Black & White Themed Preview Party
Saturday, October 6, 2012
6-8 p.m.
Get a first look at The Lerner Contemporary Glass Collection along with the other two opening special exhibitions at the Museum’s fall preview party on Saturday, October 6. Guests are encouraged to wear black-and-white attire in honor ofFranz Kline: Coal and Steel andWalker Evans & The American Social Landscape Photographers. Live jazz music, hors d’oeuvres, and a cash bar. Admission is free to Museum members, $15 to the general public. Please call 610-432-4333 x129 to RSVP. 


Venetian Glass Jewelry by Perche No
Saturday, October 6, 2012
11 a.m.-8 p.m.

During the Middle Ages, craftsmen in Murano, Italy, reestablished the techniques used by ancient Phonetian, Alexandrian, and Roman glassmakers. Since then, successive generations of glass artists have passed their knowledge down from master to apprentice, creating what is now referred to as Venetian glass. The modern glassmakers of Murano still use age-old techniques to create a distinctive style of jewelry and objects d’art known throughout the world for its color, beauty, and detail. To celebrate the opening of The Lerner Contemporary Glass Collection, the Museum Store will be hosting a trunk show featuring Venetian glass jewelry all day and during the preview party on Saturday, October 6. Members save 20 percent on this exquisite collection of glass necklaces, bracelets, rings, and more.


Diane C. Wright: Contemporary Glass--A 21st-Century Perspective

Sunday, January 13, 2013
1 p.m.

Diane C. Wright received her MA in the History of Decorative Arts and Design from Parsons the New School for Design, specializing in glass studies. She has conducted research and lectured on glass for a number of institutions, including the Rhode Island School of Design, the Chrysler Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, Parsons the New School for Design, and the Cincinnati Museum of Art. She recently completed a three-year term as a Fellow in the American Decorative Arts Department at the Yale University Art Gallery. She has also worked as an Educator at the Corning Museum of Glass, where she taught about glass-making history and techniques to students of all ages.


Ms. Wright has written on contemporary glass for Modern magazine, the Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin, and Glass Quarterly magazine and was recipient of the 2011 Rakow Grant for Glass Research from the Corning Museum of Glass. She is currently working as the Marketing and Communications Manager for Pilchuck Glass School and resides in Seattle, WA.



The Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley would like to thank the following sponsors of The Lerner Contemporary Glass Collection:

Major Sponsor: The Leon C. and June W. Holt Endowment
Sustaining Sponsor: The Audrey and Bernard Berman Endowment Fund
Supporting Sponsor: The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass, Elaine and Leslie Lerner, WDIY 88.1 FM—Lehigh Valley Community Public Radio



Founded in 1934 by the teacher, painter, and critic Walter Emerson Baum (1884–1956), the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley has become the premier institution of visual arts in the region, serving as an important cultural destination as well as a vital element in the economic revitalization of downtown Allentown. The Museum’s newly expanded 48,900 sq. ft. facility showcases a growing collection of nearly 17,000 works of art of international importance, allowing visitors to experience a broad spectrum of art representing diverse media, materials, and techniques from an equally diverse range of countries and cultures. In 1974 the Museum received prestigious accreditation from the American Association of Museums and today remains one of just 299 art museums of the 15,000 museums nationwide accorded this status.  For more information, please visit www.allentownartmuseum.org.