Exhibition: Favorite Things: Glass From The Collection of Arlene and Harold Schnitzer at the Palm Springs Art Museum
Palm Springs Art Museum is proud to present its latest exhibition, Favorite Things: Glass from the Collection of Arlene and Harold Schnitzer. The exhibition, located in in the Kaplan-Ostergaard Glass Center at the main Museum, runs November 17 through March 25, 2019.
This exhibition is the first public showing in California of selections from this aspect of Arlene and Harold Schnitzer’s extensive collections. Well known for their distinctive selections of painting and sculpture by Northwest artists, Chinese funerary arts, Native American arts, and American silver, Arlene and her late husband, Harold, also assembled an astute and personal glass collection. It includes works by international artists recognized as the finest in their regions. Favorite Things is comprised of 25 of Arlene’s most treasured pieces, reflecting a wide diversity of techniques and aesthetic styles found in contemporary glass.
“This special exhibition, comprised of nationally and internationally-known artists, focuses on intimate narratives that reflect Arlene’s personal taste,” said recently retired Chief Curator Katherine Hough. “The artists’ personal stories are showcased through the motifs and patterns of each piece, truly making it a unique display of glass creations.”
Included in the exhibition is pioneering glass artist Ginny Ruffner who creates whimsical narrative sculptures made by the age-old technique of lamp work or flame work that involves heating and fusing multiple glass pieces together. She finishes her delicate, complex, and ornamented pieces by embellishing them with finely drawn lines and painted forms. Beauty as a Militant Pediment, a lamp work glass and mixed media piece, draws on Ruffner’s autobiography and reveals her vision of the strength of women and their beauty.
Native American artist Preston Singletary, a descendant of the Tlingit clan of southeastern Alaska, has introduced cultural motifs to modern glass techniques. His method echoes traditional carving associated with Native cultures that are typically applied to wood, shell, or bone. When this technique is rendered in glass, Singletary’s work creates a distinctive bridge between ancient and contemporary Tlingit themes. Showcased in this exhibition is his blown and sand-carved glass piece, Wolf Crest Hat with Potlatch Ring.
International artist Klaus Moje’s life-long exploration of glass began in the early 1950s when he apprenticed in the family workshop in Hamburg, Germany. He immigrated to Australia in 1982 where he became the founding Head of the Glass Workshop at the Canberra School of Art. Moje is considered a founder of the contemporary Australian glass movement, and through collaboration with Bullseye Glass in Portland, Ore., Moje helped to create new formulas for glass colors that are compatible in the fusing process. It can be seen in the piece, Song Lines, an abstract arrangement of brilliant hues and dramatic color, showcased in Favorite Things.
Arlene’s entrée into collecting dates back to 1961 when she opened the Fountain Gallery of Art in Portland, where she began a 25-year career nurturing and educating curators and collectors about her stable of artists. She created a vital sphere of creativity and support for Northwest artists, bringing national attention to their achievements. While several glass artists were shown at her gallery in the mid-1970s and early 1980s, she and Harold only began collecting glass passionately after the gallery closed in 1986.
“Shortly after I opened the Fountain Gallery, I became familiar with glass art,” said Arlene Schnitzer. “Harold and I loved the magic of fine artists using glass to create art that inspired and took our breath away!”
Arlene and Harold shared a philanthropic ethos that has been passed onto their son, Jordan Schnitzer, who continues the family’s collecting passion and generous support of artists and arts institutions.
This exhibition was organized by Palm Springs Art Museum and curated by Katherine Hough, retired Chief Curator. Special thanks to Arlene Schnitzer and her Collections Manager Laurie LaBathe for their guidance, and to The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation for their generous exhibition support. Exhibition Season Sponsors are David Kaplan & Glenn Ostergaard, Dorothy C. Meyerman, and the Herman & Faye Sarkowsky Charitable Foundation.
For additional information about Palm Springs Art Museum exhibitions and events, call 760-322-4800 or visit psmuseum.org.