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Racine, WI     August 15, 2012
RAM Debuts New Glass Gifted to Contemporary Craft Collection


The Racine Art Museum (RAM) announces the first of two shows focusing on artwork created in the glass medium for 2012. These exhibitions reflect RAM's participation in the nationwide 50th anniversary of the Studio Glass Movement in America. A series of lectures, demonstrations, and exhibitions are taking place across the United States. At RAM, Handle with Care is the smaller of two exhibitions that the museum will host in honor of this celebration. This fall, the work of over 20 artists will be featured in Cutting Edge: RAM Explores Contemporary Glass Jewelry opening October 28.


Handle with Care: Recent Acquisitions in Glass, open through October 7, 2012, features works made of glass that were recently presented to RAM for its permanent collection. The show celebrates the arrival of significant pieces created in this medium to the museum's collection.


Joel Philip Myers, Solskin, 1986, Blown glass, Racine Art Museum, Gift of Barry Friedman, Ltd. Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine, WI
This exhibition contains 27 works created by 19 artists from the US and Europe including Dale Chihuly, Fritz Dreisbach, Michael Glancy, Audrey Handler, Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora Mace, Harvey K. Littleton, Richard Marquis, Joel Philip Myers, Mark Peiser, Paul Stankard, Ann Wolff, and Toots Zynsky. These individuals represent two generations of artists who have created adventuresome work not seen before in this medium. They are known for advancing public appreciation of contemporary studio glass through teaching, conducting lectures, and exhibiting their work in museums and major commercial art galleries around the world.


Art collectors represented in this gift are a small sampling of the national support base for RAM's developing collection of international artists working in craft media to make serious aesthetic statements. The museum currently has donors to its permanent collection living in 30 different states in all regions of the US. This exhibition includes works that were presented by Devra Breslow, California; Michael L. and Anne Brody, Illinois; Charles Bronfman, New York; David and Jacqueline Charak, Missouri; Barry Friedman, Ltd., New York; and Bill and Fraeda Kopman, California.


The second exhibition at RAM, Cutting Edge: RAM Explores Contemporary Glass Jewelry, focuses on artists who use glass for the creation of art jewelry. Open October 28, 2012 through February 17, 2013, this show highlights work by over 20 artists from around the world who utilize a variety of techniques-from glass blowing to casting to beadwork-in the creation of personal adornment.

Blanche Tilden, Long Grand Palais (detail), 2011
Glass and sterling silver, Collection of the Artist
Photography: Marcus Scholz

The beginning of the American studio glass movement is most often traced back to 1962 when Harvey K. Littleton and Dominic Labino established two glass workshops at the Toledo Museum of Art that brought together artists, scientists, and experienced professional glass blowers.  

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Littleton and Labino envisioned independent studios for glassblowing, a scenario that was not possible up to that point with the traditional technologies. These new workshops provided forums for information sharing across disciplines and launched glass programs at universities while simultaneously inspiring artists to experiment with the material. Littleton went on to establish a glass program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison while other early proponents worked to do the same at institutions across the country. These efforts secured a place in contemporary craft for this compelling and dynamic medium.


This exhibition is made possible at Racine Art Museum by: Presenting Sponsors - Karen Johnson Boyd and William B. Boyd, RAM Society Members, Jay Price Ruffo, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., Windgate Charitable Foundation; Gold Sponsors - Helen Bader Foundation, Inc., National Endowment for the Arts, Racine United Arts Fund; Silver Sponsors - Elwood Corporation, Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation, W.T. Walker Group, Inc., Wisconsin Arts Board, Bronze Sponsors - Clifton Gunderson LLP, CNH America LLC, E.C. Styberg Foundation, Inc., Educators Credit Union, In Sink Erator, The Marjorie L. Christiansen Foundation, The Norbell Foundation, Real Racine, and Runzheimer Foundation.

Together, the two campuses of the Racine Art Museum, RAM in downtown Racine at 441 Main Street and the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts at 2519 Northwestern Avenue, seek to elevate the stature of contemporary crafts to that of fine art by exhibiting significant works in craft media with painting, sculpture and photography, while providing outstanding educational art programming.

Docent led contemporary craft and architectural tours of the museums are available. Both campuses of the Racine Art Museum, are open to the public Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, and are closed Mondays, Federal holidays and Easter. RAM is open Sunday Noon - 5:00 pm, while Wustum is closed Sundays. An admission fee of $5 for adults, with reduced fees for students and seniors, applies at RAM. Admission to Wustum is free. Members are always admitted without charge to either campus.

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For more information or to request images, please contact:

Laura Gillespie
RAM Marketing Assistant
262.638.8300 x 114