Rediscover the art of glass at Auburn’s Jule Collins Smith Museum

AUBURN – The exhibition, “American Luster: Select Examples of Contemporary Studio Glass,” is on display in the grand gallery display cases at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University through Aug. 28.

“American Luster” highlights some of the most significant contemporary artists working in glass. Assembled as a complement to the museum’s Amber Luster chandelier by Dale Chihuly, one of the most widely recognized names in studio glass art, the exhibition offers vivid examples of the medium’s varied possibilities.

Art works featured in the exhibition include pieces by Hank Murta Adams, William Bernstein, Robert Carlson, Joey Kirkpatrick, Cam Langley, Flora Mace, Dante Marioni, Benjamin Moore, Ginny Ruffner and Brent Key Young, alongside two early blown-glass pieces by Chihuly.

The exhibition is made possible through loans from the Connell Gallery in Atlanta and the private collection of Martha and Pat Connell.

In the mid-20th century, innovative artists looked to industrial media and processes, pushing against both perceived material limitations and preconceptions of what was expected of fine art. Prominent among these artists was a diverse and collegial group who “rediscovered” the craft of working molten glass.

Experimenting in workshops in Madison, Wis.; Penland, N.C.; Seattle, Wash.; and other sites across the country, this informal collective of artists became known as the American Studio Glass Movement. Sharing their ideas and insights, young artists such as Adams, Marioni and Ruffner worked alongside an older generation of artisan technicians to develop new forms in a revitalized tradition.

For more information about the exhibition or the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, go to or call (334) 844-1484.

(Contributed by Colleen Bourdeau.)

Contact: Colleen Bourdeau, (334) 844-7075, (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (

Robert Carlson, (American, born 1952), "The Spiral Path" Chalice, 1987-1989, blown glass and enamel paint, on loan from the collection of Martha and Pat Connell

Dale Chihuly, (American, born 1941), Macchia with Blue Interior, 1982, on loan from the collection of Martha and Pat Connell