For centuries glassmakers have interpreted the animal kingdom in either practical or whimsical glass forms. From the covered animal dishes of the 19th century, to the collectible animal figurines of the 20th century, to finally the creative endeavors of glass artists of the 21st century, all are featured in Glass Menagerie: A to Z.
Among 19th century glass manufacturers that made covered animal dishes was the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company. The Sandwich factory produced pressed glass covered hen dishes, bear pomade jars and covered boxes with horse and dog motifs. Sandwich glass engravers and decorators also used animals motifs on all types of glassware.
Following the turn of the century, glass animal figurines were manufactured by Heisey in the United States and Lalique, Baccarat, and Sabino Glass in Europe. These whimsical creations are still highly sought after by collectors.
Today, individual artists are maintaining the tradition of making glass animals. Isabel Green, Alan Haynes, Michael Magyar, Yukimi Matsumoto, Billy Mayer, David McDermott, Bryan Randa, Chris Sherwin, Michelle Trammel, Peter Waechter, are among the glassmakers that continue to manipulate glass to form new and interesting animal creations.
This exhibit would not have been possible without the help of our glass community. We wish to thank Kirk Nelson, Director of the New Bedford Museum of Glass, who graciously lent us a number of fascinating pieces from the Museum’s collection of glass animals. We also wish to thank the many glass artists who created items specifically for this exhibit and to the many collectors that graciously lent their treasures for Glass Menagerie: A to Z.