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Toledo Museum of Art acquires contemporary glass objects from Apollo Society
Maya Lin (American, born 1959), Dew Point 18. Mold-shaped glass; cut and polished under base, 2007. Gift of Georgia Welles.

TOLEDO, OH.- In tribute to the 50th anniversary of the American Studio Glass Movement, the Toledo Museum of Art’s collector's group, The Apollo Society, has chosen to acquire three works of contemporary studio glass for the Museum’s glass collection, one of the finest of its kind in the world.

The Apollo Society members selected three exquisite and diverse works of art: Colorbox II (2007) by Japanese sculptor Jun Kaneko, Twilight Powered by Electricity Makes for a Brilliant New Horizon (2012) by emerging artist Andrew Erdos and Dew Point 18 (2007) by Ohio native Maya Lin.

Two of the recent acquisitions are on display as part of Color Ignited: Glass 1962–2012 in the Wolfe Gallery for Contemporary Art, while Dew Point 18 is on view in the Glass Pavilion near the Parkwood entrance.

Colorbox II conveys the translucent qualities of glass and a subdued aesthetic. The large, vertical installation consists of eight geometric rods composed of thin layers of brightly colored and colorless glass. Kaneko layered sheets of glass in polychrome and colored sequences and then fused the stacks by kiln-firing them in a mold.

“This technologically complex work resulted from a collaboration of this artist, who is better known for his ceramic and bronze sculptures, with Bullseye Glass in Portland, Oregon,” said Jutta-Annette Page, curator of glass and decorative arts at TMA. “Colorbox II is intended to be displayed in the Glass Pavilion near the Parkwood entrance, providing restrained but colorful visual interest for visitors as they approach the building.”

Twilight was specifically created for Color Ignited. Through its multimedia reflective environment, viewers are invited to participate in the imaginative world it creates. The combination of glass with two-way mirrors and computer-programmed colored LEDs results in a gleaming world where mythical creatures seem to float into and out of the mirrored walls.

“Erdos incorporates sculpture, video, performance and sound with traditional glassmaking techniques,” said Page. “His singular enclosed animal becomes a virtual herd that is at once futuristic and nostalgic, slick and sensual, charming and playful.”

Dew Point 18, made from blown colorless glass, gives the impression of large drops of water collecting on the ground. Lin exploits glass’s ability to suggest the appearance of liquid. The artist, who perhaps is best known for designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., focuses on the emotions a space might evoke and what her work can symbolize to the viewer. The large floor installation, made up of 18 elements, is unusual in that most of her landscape installations are site specific.

“Her use of glass as a metaphor for water resonates with the fluid design of the Glass Pavilion—obscuring the boundaries between the outside world and interior spaces—and seemed a particularly fitting choice,” said Page. “We are thrilled to add a work by this renowned architect and environmental sculptor to the collection.”

This year individual members of The Apollo Society decided to purchase, as a gift to the Museum, two other objects. Georgia Welles, founder and chairman of the Society, purchased the sequence Vase, Bottle, Bowl (2010) by Jane Bruce. This work consists of nine objects grouped into three sets—which include variations on a vase, bottle and bowl—emphasizing the roles of composition, color, light, proportion and the juxtaposition of positive and negative space.

Nature (2010) by Judith Schaechter was acquired by the Museum with funds given by Ann Hartmann and Frank Snug. The stained glass scene mounted on a light box features a girl lounging on a Victorian chaise, seeming both ecstatic about and agitated by the vibrant force of nature around her.

The Apollo Society—named after TMA’s Henri Matisse mural Apollo—was formed in 1986 by Welles and her late husband David to pool their membership dues, select and purchase significant works of art for the Museum’s collection. Each fall, Apollo Society members choose a general category, such as contemporary glass. The TMA curatorial staff then researches objects that would be important additions to the collection. At the selection dinner in the spring the offerings are revealed and members cast their votes for which work(s) will be purchased.

Over 27 years, The Apollo Society has acquired more than 40 works of art ranging from ancient Egyptian to contemporary and has left a lasting legacy at the Museum through its contributions.

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