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Museum of Glass and University of Washington Press publish creative, scholarly art book on “Glimmering Gone”

Post by Rosemary Ponnekanti / The News Tribune on March 24, 2011 at 6:00 am |
March 22, 2011 10:03 am

If you haven’t yet seen the stunning installation “Glimmering Gone” at the Museum of Glass, there’s still time: It’s up in the museum’s back gallery through September. But this intricate glass invocation to Northwest landscape and man-made glamour by Ingalena Klenell and Beth Lipman has a creative take-home companion – a coffee-table art book on the MoG-organized installation, cleverly bound and smoothly presented, with intelligent essays by two local curators.

It’s the presentation that impresses first with “Glimmering Gone,” the book. The museum has spent a lot on looks, and it’s worth it: Sheathed in a solid black box embossed with the wavy horizontals of Klenell’s landscape, the book itself is accordion-bound, elegantly spineless, the pages folding out from front and back to allow full opening out of the long photos of the installation.

Klenell and Lipman worked collaboratively on this multi-part exhibit, which moves from shop-window-style still-lifes of transparent blown-glass human objects cut exactly in half through to a room where more objects (opaque this time) emerge from a wall opposite a fantasy landscape of filigree flameworked glass, full of mountains, trees and a shard-sharp river.

Representing this pure white and transparent glass on paper isn’t easy. The book does so with sepia tones, echoing the time-frame of Klenell’s inspiration, 19th-century Tacoma painter Abby Williams Hill (whose work is currently on show at UPS’ Kittredge Gallery). The result is somewhat flat; it’s much more engaging when printed in silvery grayscale. But the page-feel is enticing, and the scholarly essays on Hill (by Tacoma curator Andrea Moody) and the Klenell/Lipman collaboration (by former MoG curator Melissa Post) are well-written and informative, and illustrated generously with Hill’s paintings and studio shots of the artist.

If the installation “Glimmering Gone” is a landmark in glass, its book is a landmark of the kind of sophistication the Museum of Glass can rise to as a presenter and organizer of contemporary glass art.

“Glimmering Gone” is on exhibit 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday through Sept. 6 at the Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock St, Tacoma. $12/$10/$6/free for under-5. The book of the exhibit is on sale at the museum store. 866-4-MUSEUM, www.museumofglass.org

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