After You're Gone
Publisher & Date
Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design, 2008
In July 2006, RISD Museum director Hope Alswang and curator Judith Tannenbaum encountered Beth Lipman’s 20-foot-long glass tableau entitled Bancketje (Banquet), then on exhibit at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington. This tour de force, created in 2003 (now in the permanent collection of the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.), inspired The RISD Museum to invite the artist to visit its galleries, as well as collections in storage, in order to create an exhibition here. In October 2007, Lipman visited the Museum and was particularly excited by its American period rooms in Pendleton House and the decorative arts collections. She returned in March 2008 to work with students in RISD’s Glass Department. With their assistance in the hot shop, she produced several topiary sculptures and parts of the full-size glass settee featured in this installation, which she decided to entitle After You’re Gone. From her home base in Wisconsin, Lipman created glass “wallpaper” based on an 18th-century French pattern sample in The RISD Museum’s collection, two “portraits” in glass, 500 snails, and two squirrels. The installation also incorporates Laid Table (Still Life with Metal Pitcher), a large circular sculpture, which she made in September 2007 with this exhibition in mind.