Years of Glass: The Norton to Exhibit Collection of Modern and Contemporary Works 40 Years in the Making (April 9 - September 4, 2022)
Exhibition Coincides with UN Celebration of the International Year of Glass
WEST PALM BEACH, FL (April 8, 2022)—The Norton Museum of Art announced today that it will present Years of Glass: The Norton Collection 1982 -2022, on view from April 9 through September 4, 2022. This exhibition marks 40 years since the Norton began building its collection of glass sculpture and decorative arts, while coinciding with the International Year of Glass, a United Nations initiative that celebrates the history of glass and its role in our sustainable future.
Organized by guest curator William Warmus, Years of Glass spotlights the Norton’s expansive holdings of modern and contemporary glass and reflects more broadly on the significance and influence of the medium in the context of the fine arts. Artists including Dale Chihuly, Olafur Eliasson, Rob Wynne, Larry Bell, Beth Lipman, and Toots Zynsky represent the achievements of the 20th and 21st centuries as well as emerging themes in the contemporary artworld such as the power of narrative and the investigation of the natural environment. As it traces the evolution of the medium, Years of Glass also demonstrates the ways in which many artists working with glass have adopted and advanced abstraction and the role of color in sculpture.
“Years of Glass offers the opportunity to examine more deeply the Norton’s outstanding collection of contemporary glass,” said Ghislain d’Humières, Director and CEO of the Norton Museum of Art. “The exhibition prompts audiences to consider how glass fits into a comprehensive modern art collection such as the Norton’s, offering an overview of both the rise of the studio glass movement in the second half of the 20th century, and the emergence of new trends in recent years.”
“The Norton’s significant holdings of glass works showcase the ways in which artists have elevated the medium to an artistic practice on par with more traditional media,” said William Warmus, Guest Curator. “The exhibition traces the myriad lifeforms of glass, from its use in the construction of utilitarian and decorative objects, to its role in expanding the boundaries of fine art through abstract sculptural forms.”
In addition to its collection and continued acquisition of glass works, the Norton has a robust history of supporting permanent glass installations in its galleries. In 2019, the Norton commissioned a site-specific Rob Wynne work—an expansion upon his earlier work I Remember Ceramic Castles, Mermaids & Japanese Bridges—which wraps around the three-story-high Muriel and Ralph Saltzman Stairway. In addition to the Wynne installation, the Norton has in one of its hallways an iconic Chihuly piece, Persian Sealife Ceiling (2003).
Years of Glass continues the Museum’s commitment to and recognition of the medium as a significant development in contemporary art. In 2003, the museum organized a major exhibition titled Fire and Form, which examined a diverse group of studio glass and emerging artists.
In accordance with recommendations by the CDC, the Museum is requiring visitors to wear masks. Showing proof of a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination are no longer required for admission to the Museum. Additionally, COVID-related gallery- and museum-wide capacity limits have been lifted. For full details on the Museum’s health and safety protocols, please visit Norton.org/visit.
About the Norton Museum of Art
The Norton Museum of Art is home to the leading and most far-ranging collection of art in Florida and the region, with distinguished holdings in American, European, Contemporary, and Chinese art and Photography. In 2019, the Norton unveiled an expansion by Foster + Partners, featuring the new 59,000-square-foot Kenneth C. Griffin Building, which greatly enhanced the Museum’s facilities and was accompanied by the complete reinstallation of the museum’s renowned collections in state-of-the-art galleries.
The Norton is also recognized for advancing the practice and appreciation of emerging and under-recognized artists. In 2011, the Norton launched RAW (Recognition of Art by Women). Since its inception, the series has presented the work of Jenny Saville, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Phyllida Barlow, Klara Kristalova, Nina Chanel Abney, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Svenja Deininger, and María Berrío. In January 2019, the Museum launched an artist-in-residence program, which hosts four artists annually who are in residence on-site in restored homes that border the Museum’s campus. In 2021, María Berrío was in residence during the presentation of her first museum survey, and photographer Jessica Ingram, whose publication Road Through Midnight was recognized by the New York Times, returned to participate after being forced by the pandemic to cut short her planned 2020 residency.
The expansion of the Norton also provided new and enhanced facilities for its educational programs, special exhibitions, lectures, tours, and other activities that serve the Museum’s diverse audiences. It also transformed the Norton’s 6.3-acre campus into a “museum in a garden” which celebrates the beautiful year-round weather in West Palm Beach and features new, verdant public spaces and a 37,000-square-foot sculpture garden.
For more information on museum hours and safety protocols, please visit Norton.org.
Image courtesy of Toots Zynsky (Horses Chaos, 1993).