Two Centuries of Glass, September 8, 2018-January 27, 2019

Tacoma is known for its glass. Thousands of people come every year to see the work of internationally recognized glass artists such as Dale Chihuly and Preston Singletary, and to watch the artists in residence at the Museum of Glass, as well as admiring beginning and intermediate glass artists such as the students participating in the Hilltop Artists program. 

But what of the beauty of the glass that we use every day? View anew diverse glass artifacts along with stories about how these products have been used for work, play, and adornment. Consider glass tools and items used in the fields of medicine and health, and functional glass used in the home. Inspire your creative spirit with the glass art on view, too.

Everyday Glass from the 1800s through Today

Glass is used in our lives from the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep. We use glass in what we wear, how we eat and even in saving our lives. Two Centuries of Glass takes a look at everyday glass objects, selected from the Historical Society's collections. It asks visitors to consider their beauty as well as their function. 

Exhibit Spotlight: Depression Glass and Elegant Glass

Do you or a family member collect Depression glass? During the 1930s, getting your dishes from gas stations, movie theaters and cereal boxes was an everyday occurrence. Sometimes these pieces were sold by themselves for a nickel (the same price then as a loaf of bread). Other times, shoppers would receive glass free through special promotions. These glass objects were produced in many bright colors so that shoppers would purchase them to brighten up their everyday lives. Depression glass was mass-produced and of relatively low quality. Bubbles, mold marks and other flaws are often seen in this kind of glassware. A higher quality glass, Elegant glass was produced as an alternative to fine china and sold through jewelry and department stores.