Years of Glass: The Norton Collection 1982-2022

The United Nations has declared 2022 the International Year of Glass, celebrating “the essential role glass has in society.” Glass has played a central role as art in Tutankhamen’s tomb in ancient Egypt, stained-glass windows in medieval cathedrals, and is in every Tiffany lamp.

2022 also marks four decades of collecting contemporary glass at the Norton. It seems a good time to explore how artists have used this ancient yet revolutionary material. Years of Glass poses questions, including: how does glass fit into the context of a comprehensive modern art collection? Who are the recognized masters? It examines relationships, for example, the ways in which many working in the medium advanced and adopted abstraction, and how studio glass emerged in 1962 and evolved into the diverse styles we see in 2022.

The collection of glass-centric objects has grown to over three dozen artworks, including significant sculptures by Dale Chihuly, Olafur Eliasson, Beth Lipman, Rob Wynne, Michael Glancy, Toots Zynsky, Jaroslava Brychtova and Stanislav Libensky. The Norton also has a noteworthy history of commissioning permanent glass installations in its galleries, including the Chihuly Persian Seaform ceiling and a site-specific sculpture by Rob Wynne. Years of Glass continues this support for the medium as a significant development in contemporary art.

Organized by the Norton Museum of Art.

Curated by William Warmus, Guest Curator

Support for this exhibition was provided by the Dr. Henry and Lois Foster Endowment for the Exhibition of Contemporary Art