Renowned Glass Artist Gifts Collection to Tacoma Art Museum

Paul Marioni, one of the nation’s foremost innovators in glass art, is gifting his collection of nearly 400 artworks to Tacoma Art Museum. The Paul Marioni Glass Collection traces the evolution of the Studio Glass Movement through Paul’s engagement with the Pilchuck Glass School, where he taught from 1974 through 1988. The core of the collection focuses on 71 works by Paul Marioni that document his evolution as one of the most important artists working with glass.

“When I relocated to Seattle I did so because of the community’s support for local artists,” said Paul Marioni. “I’ve seen more exhibitions at Tacoma Art Museum than any other museum. It’s one of the smartest, most innovative museums in the region and I know they will responsibly share these artworks and their history for years to come.”

Along with the gift of the Paul Marioni Glass Collection, the museum is also purchasing ten works that represents a retrospective survey of Paul Marioni’s career. From one of his earliest flat glass works, “All it Takes (Nerve),” to his most recent exploration of kinetic glass sculpture, “The Calculated Lie,” these artworks tell the story of how Paul became one of America’s foremost glass artists. All of these added to the museum’s comprehensive collection of works by Dale Chihuly and the promised gift of the Anne Gould Hauberg Collection. The museum’s collection now includes nearly 900 works of art that preserve the history of how the Northwest became a world-renowned center for glass art.

The Paul Marioni Glass Collection and this summer’s exhibition, “The Marioni Family: Radical Experimentation in Glass and Jewelry,” directly support the museum’s mission to highlight the art and artists of the Northwest. Also, the acquisition of the Paul Marioni Glass Collection helps to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American Studio Glass Movement.

“We are thrilled to add Paul’s collection to Tacoma Art Museum,” said Stephanie A. Stebich, director of Tacoma Art Museum. “With these artworks, we have reached one of our strategic goals of preserving the early history of the Pilchuck Glass School as we work to build the premier collection of Northwest art.”

Marioni’s collection includes works by internationally recognized artists such as Sonja Blomdahl, Dale Chihuly, Marvin Lipofsky, Flo Perkins, Richard Marquis, Lino Tagliapietra, and Cappy Thompson. The collection also features a retrospective collection of nearly100 glass goblets and eight large-scale vessel forms by Dante Marioni, tracing his development as a beginning glass blower learning the Venetian tradition to one of the nation’s foremost artists working in glass. Other important collection highlights include a fabulous group of flat glass works and an intriguing group of portraits of Paul Marioni.

“The Marioni Family: Radical Experimentation in Glass and Jewelry” celebrates the art and legacy of one of the Pacific Northwest’s most innovative and influential artist families: Paul Marioni and his children Dante and Marina. Through approximately 300 works, the exhibition showcases how the artists of the Marioni family engage with form, materiality, and tradition, each in their own thought-provoking and individual styles. Exhibition highlights include a retrospective survey of the work of Paul Marioni, whose distinguished career includes two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a long teaching career at Pilchuck Glass School, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Glass Art Society; a selection of works by his son Dante that underscores his world-renowned skill as a glassblower; and jewelry by his daughter Marina that showcases her humor and wit. The three family members were recently subjects in the “Family” episode of the PBS documentary series Craft in America, and this video will be screened in the gallery. Additionally, the museum will interview each family member to better allow visitors to reach the desired understandings of the exhibition.

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