Over the past three decades, RISD has developed one of the foremost glassmaking programs offered by American art schools. The department’s growth mirrors the rise of the Studio Glass Movement in the United States, as glassmaking evolved from industrial production into the creation of fine art. It is not surprising that works in glass by RISD alumni and faculty dominate recent collecting by the Museum in this field, as the subject remains a vital part of the School’s curriculum.
This exhibition presents a selection of glass acquired by the Museum through donation and purchase over the past decade. Some objects will be familiar to visitors; others are shown here for the first time. The range of date, scale, and technique is noteworthy, as is the variety of sculptural, functional, and conceptual modes. So diverse are the pieces that their only common aspect is the material of which they are made.