Since our doors first opened in April, 1959, docents have played an integral role in sharing the story of Evangeline Bergstrom and her passion for collecting and expanding upon our knowledge of glass as an artistic medium. Through the efforts of docents past and present, visitors have gained a deeper understanding and appreciation for the time and expertise necessary to create works of glass art. Their continued enthusiasm and spirit of volunteerism exemplifies our vision for being The Place for Exciting Discoveries in Glass.
With combined docent experience totaling more than 75 years, our volunteer guides have selected works for exhibition from the permanent collection that are most significant to them. From antique paperweights and Germanic glass drinking vessels to Victorian baskets and contemporary glass sculpture, Docents Know Glass is sure to inspire an appreciation for everything Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass has to offer – including our fantastic docents! This exhibition is curated by our current docent corps, including Liane Butitta, Gail Dolan, Chris Grunwald, Kay Hendrickson, Pat Rosenak, Mary Ellyn Vicksta and Jeff Zdrale., and is supported in part by the Richard L. Johnson Memorial Fund.
/ˈdōsənt/ (noun) a person who acts as a guide, typically on a voluntary basis, in a museum, art gallery, or zoo.
Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass strives to expose the community to the versatility of glass while encouraging the creativity of talented young artists in the area. The encouragement of our young people and their development in the arts is crucial to our future economic and social development. We are pleased to exhibit glass art made by high school students in the Fox Valley area. Through creating art in the classroom and at home, students have the opportunity to share their work in a public setting.
This year has been a challenging year. The Covid-19 pandemic has restricted many glass art-making activities at both the high schools and at our own studio. The students and art teachers that contributed to this exhibit made the most of their creative time and really came through to make a wonderful show. Friends and family of the student artists, as well as the general public, are encouraged to view the exhibit during the month of March. Prizes will be awarded to the most creative pieces. Due to Covid-19 restrictions on crowd capacities, no opening reception will be scheduled.
During the reign of Alexandrina Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, Ireland, and Empress of India (1837-1901), English and American glass factories responded to the rise of consumerism and the increasing desire for everything glistening and ornamented by creating and marketing fanciful glass table decorations for middle and upper-class households. The art glass basket reached the height of its popularity between 1880 and 1890. These colorful and highly decorated works of art glass represent both ingenuity and technical skill. Frequently embellished with ruffled rims and applied handles shaped in loops or decorated with thorns, these baskets proved to be popular wedding gifts and were a mainstay in Victorian homes. Now on exhibit in the Mabel R. McClanahan Memorial Study Gallery.
New on View highlights recent acquisitions of works in glass to Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass’s permanent collection of contemporary art and paperweights. A highlight of this show includes a selection of antique and contemporary glass paperweights from the collection of longtime supporters Gary and Marge McClanahan. The show will feature works by artists such as Marvin Lipofsky, Mary Shaffer, Ken Rosenfeld, Debbie Tarsitano and Marc Petrovic, most of which have not previously been exhibited.
Working collaboratively since 1979, renowned artists John Littleton and Kate Vogel create sculptural blown and cast glass works and installations that speak to the importance of their relationships to one another, their family, and their community. This retrospective exhibition highlights important works, milestones, and innovations in their shared careers – all while tying their experiences and influences back to John’s father, Harvey Littleton.
Exhibition sponsorship provided by Sharon and John Amdall