Fort Wayne Museum of Art Cut Glass Permanent Collection|
Posting Number 3432 Date: 08/05/20 Return to Posting List
In 2012, the FWMoA and the ACGA joined a collaborative partnership which named the FWMoA as the repository and managers of the ACGA Permanent Collection; highlights of which you see displayed at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art.
The American Cut Glass Association (ACGA) is a nonprofit, national organization devoted to the advancement of this unique American industrial art form. Generated by an increased interest in this antique specialty, the ACGA was formed in the summer of 1978 in Indianapolis, Indiana, with a group of 39 charter members. The ACGA has expanded throughout the U.S. into numerous regional chapters and to over 2000 members. Click below to view story and click at the bottom of the Ft. Wayne page to see the Cut Glass Collection.
Continued Tribute to Jane Spillman
Jane Spillman: Curator, Scholar, Writer, Mother, Wife, and Valued Friend
Thomas P. Dimitroff
I first met Jane Spillman some 45 to 50 years ago at a party, sometime after the Agnes Flood of 1972. I had been a teacher of social studies and English in Cornings secondary schools since 1963. Jane began her career with The Corning Museum of Glass in 1965.
I remember I was talking with a couple of people I did not know. The conversation turned to education but the others in the group soon looked bored with the topic. At about that time, a newcomer joined the groupJane Shadel. She was very interested in education. The others in the group soon disappeared, leaving Jane and me. As the evening and our discussion of education ended, I learned my first thing about Jane. She did not hesitate to express her feelings quickly and clearly and sometimes emphatically. This conversation became the beginning of a long and wonderful friendship between Jane and me.
I did notice another thing about Jane Spillman at that first meeting: I am short; Jane is shorter. The first time I heard Jane give a lecture was at the Glass Centers auditorium. She was introduced, walked up the stairs onto the stage, stepped behind the podium and then disappeared. Someone had forgotten to put the stool in place to allow her to be seen above the podiums top. The stool appeared, Jane started her lecture, and everyone forgot that Jane was short. Jane had proved the cliché Big things come in small packages to be fact. Jane and her husband Don were most interested in their childrens education and followed it closely, and as the childrens teacher, I communicated with them frequently. Both Janes and Dons professions required high levels of education and especially focused on communication skills, both written and spoken. Jane was a museum curator, author, and lecturer; Don was a lawyer.
I spent much time working with Jane and her colleagues at The Corning Museum of Glass. The experience started when Jane called to tell me that she and the contemporary glass curator often received letters with inquiries about colored Steuben glass. Many of the letters were from people hoping their piece of glass would turn out to be Steuben. Jane knew that I loved the glass and studied it as well as Frederick Carder. She asked if I could help her answer some of these letters. As I helped her, I learned a great deal and met the other curators. This became a regular activity; Jane and I worked together often.
When I was doing research for a book on Carder Steuben glass, I planned on including a chapter about Frederick Carders cut and engraved glass at Steuben. I quickly thought of Jane as a potential author; she was very knowledgeable about cut and engraved glass, especially that created in Corning, NY. Jane agreed to write the chapter. Published in 1998, Janes contribution adds an important dimension to the book.
Another major collaborative project evolved when The Rockwell Museum decided that it would cease displaying its collection of Carder Steuben glassthe largest in the world and a gift from the museums founder Robert Rockwell. A committee formed to find a new location for the glass. David Whitehouse, director of The Corning Museum of Glass, agreed to make available a new gallery in CMoG; when the display was completed, it would be the only gallery in the museum to display the work of a single glassmaker. To me, this seemed appropriate; Thomas G. Hawkes and Frederick Carder co-founded Steuben glass. Carder, a successful English glassmaker, had come to Corning at Hawkes invitation. Carder and his glass creations earned him the reputation as one of Americas greatest glassmakers. Carder also played a significant role in the beginning of the American studio glass movement.
As the Curator of American Glass Jane had the responsibility of planning the new Carder Gallery. She asked me to help with this challenging task and it became for me an exciting and educational time.
Jane has been a loving and devoted wife and mother as well as a successful curator at one of the worlds best museums for almost 50 years. Jane launched many successful exhibitions at the museum, while continuing her other responsibilities. In addition, Jane has written more than 150 articles for scholarly journals and periodicals, and many well-researched books and book chapters, and is valued by researchers and students alike.
My wife and I enjoyed visiting Jane and her family. I have read the books Jane wrote and used the information and understanding I gleaned from them in many ways. I have attended many of her lectures and enjoyed many of the seminars and exhibitions she has been responsible for creating. These experiences have helped me learn to love the study of glass and cherish The Corning Museum of Glass. I respect and admire Jane Spillman and will always treasure her friendship.
Fort Wayne Museum of Art - Cut Glass
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