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Glass Art Reflects the Future: Art and technical glass from the collection of Paul Vickers Gardner Glass Center
Guest curated by Margaret Rasmussen
March 14 - April 21, 2002

image of glass art
This Ivrene glass lily vase produced by Frederick Carder at Steuben, Corning, NY (circa 1920) illustrates the technology of surface treatments. When sprayed while hot with stannous chloride, a thin iridescent finish forms on the surface, the same technology used today to coat non-reflecting optical coatings for cameras, binoculars, and telescopes.
A special exhibition entitled "Glass Art Reflects the Future" will open March 14 at the Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art at Alfred University. The exhibition remains on view until April 21. Guest curator for the exhibition is Margaret Rasmussen, executive director of the Paul Vickers Gardner Glass Center at the University.

The public opening reception will be at 4 p.m. March 19 at the Museum, now located in Binns-Merrill Hall on the AU campus. Dr. W. C. LaCourse, the Kruson Distinguished Professor of Glass Science at Alfred University, will deliver an accompanying lecture, "Glass Art and the Genesis of Glass Science" at 4:30 p.m., March 19, also at the Museum.

There will be a series of lectures, reflecting both the art and science of glass, beginning March 26 and continuing on Tuesdays at 12:10 p.m. through April 16. All lectures will also be held in the Museum's new space on the top floor of the newly renovated Binns-Merrill Hall on the AU campus.

The following lectures are scheduled:

March 26: "King Tut Beads Scrutinized by Electron Microscopy," by Ward Votava, scanning electron microscopist in the School of Ceramic Engineering and Materials Science at Alfred University, and Origins of Color, by Dr. Alexis Clare, professor of Glass Science in the School of Ceramic Engineering and Materials Science.

April 2: "The Holy Grail - Vessel of Glass?" by Dr. L. David Pye, professor of Glass Science, and "Casting and Blowing Glass" by Stephen Dee Edwards, professor of Glass Art and co-director of the Paul Vickers Gardner Glass Center.

April 9: "Telling the Broken Glass Story" by Dr. James Varner, professor of Ceramic Engineering and "ABC's of Annealing" by Dr. Arun Varshneya, professor of Glass Science and Engineering.

April 16: "Past is Prologue," the inaugural Paul Vickers Gardner lecture," delivered by Dr. Thomas Seward, co-director of the Paul Vickers Gardner Glass Center and director of the National Science Foundation Industry-University Center for Glass Research and professor of Glass Science at the School of Ceramic Engineering and Materials Science.

The exhibition is based on the historic concept that once science and art were inseparably intertwined in the process of glassmaking, commercial art glass reached its peak of perfection, simultaneously expanding scientific understanding of the mysterious non-crystalline solid. Glass objects from the collection of the Paul Vickers Gardner Glass Center at Alfred University will be exhibited with the technical glass that has evolved from the art, reflecting dramatically the origins of 21st century glass technology.

Rasmussen, who is also assistant director of the Industry-University Center for Glass Research and editor of The GlassResearcher, noted that the opportunity to view glass art that has evolved into today's advanced technical glass comes from the keen awareness of the late Dr. Paul Vickers Gardner, first curator of glass and ceramics at the National Museum of Natural History's Smithsonian Institution. Gardner was an Alfred University alumnus, class of 1930, and benefactor of the University's educational glass center.

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