Museum of Glass collections reflect a combination of experimental works and the legacy of the Studio Glass movement and its antecedents. Through the Hot Shop, the Museum invites experienced national and international artists, and emerging artists to develop new work, often in an experimental context. As a result, work created in the Hot Shop is at the heart of aesthetic and technical developments in art utilizing the medium of glass. Objects and archival materials from the collections provide tangible examples of the diversity of the medium of glass as an art form.

Starting before the Museum opening in 2002, Museum of Glass purchased a few objects for display. With the birth of the Visiting Artist (VA) Residency program, the Museum made the decision to retain one object each from the artists to document the history of the organization. In 2007, the Museum redefined its mission and announced plans to become a collecting institution. As a result, the Permanent Collection was founded with those original (200) objects. Since 2008, the Museum has secured additional works from VA residences and from individual private donations. In tandem with collecting glass artworks, through digital photography and video, the Museum has actively documented the process of making glass art and the work of those artists who have completed residencies in our Hot Shop, which are the core of the Museum’s archival collections.


Production glass of Nineteenth- and early twentieth- century and its legacy

This collection includes glass produced for mass-consumption in factories in the United States and Europe and is identified by the designer or factory, not the actual producer. These works, and their resulting legacy define the antecedent to the Studio Glass movement. Examples in MOG's Permanent Collection include Steuben (United States), Barovier & Torso, Lalique, Schneider, and Iittala (Europe).



Studio Glass movement (1960–2000), pioneers and legacy

The Studio Glass movement began in 1962, with Harvey Littleton’s workshops at Toledo Museum of Art. Studio glass differs from production glass as its creation centers around private hot shops, not factories, with an emphasis on the artist as a maker. This collection tells the story of the development of Studio Glass and documents the legacy in glass today.

Important Studio Glass narratives center on specific glass hubs: people, education centers, and private studios that became centers for collaboration, education, and exchange of ideas that became central to the growth and development of the movement.



Contemporary glass (2000–present)

The contemporary glass collection concentrates on how the medium of glass interacts with contemporary art. This collection includes two primary focuses. The first, glass secessionism, is defined by Tim Tate and William Warmus as a movement away from “technique” towards “artistic vision” and concept. It documents the inclusion of glass as one of many used materials with a movement away from the vessel as the primary form. The second focus features non-glass artists who are experimenting with the material.



Visiting artist residency program archive

Objects are selected for the Visiting Artist Archives by the curatorial staff in consultation with the artists from the Visiting Artist Residency Program. These objects are supported by the Visiting Artist Digital Archive, which provides a rich historical context for the collection, through photo and video documentation.



The Visiting Artist (VA) Residency Program Digital Archive is a robust collection of digital images and video that document and enhance the live action of the VA Residency Program. Images from artists, video taken during the residencies in the Hot Shop, and edited films document and contextualize the works of visiting artists into the larger context of art and culture.

Community Collections – Kids Design Glass™

This collection documents and collects works from the Kids Design Glass™ program.


Library Collection

Museum of Glass Library is a non-circulating collection of books, periodicals, and artist files that have been collected in conjunction with the Permanent Collection and exhibition programs as well as general research on the medium of glass. The core collection of 2,200 books and periodicals was donated in memory of M. Blair Corkran by his wife, Mary Hale Corkran that supported his work as an avid glass collector from the 1970s until 2011. Click here to view the Museum of Glass library collection. Click here to make an appointment with the curatorial department to view these materials.

Donations of Art

Museum of Glass welcomes gifts of art on an ongoing basis. Our Permanent Collections include twentieth and twenty-first-century contemporary glass. Please contact our Curatorial Department via email or at 253.284.4705 to discuss your gift.