Ben W. Heineman Sr. Family Gallery of Contemporary Glass

Heinemann Gallery

The Museum’s Heineman gallery of contemporary glass focuses on vessels, objects, and sculptures made by international artists from 1975 to 2000, a period of 25 years that changed glass. The purpose of the gallery is to show the different ways in which glass is used in art, craft, and design. The gallery is named for the Heineman family, who donated a major collection of contemporary studio glass to the Museum in 2005, which has been integrated into the Museum’s holdings.

In this gallery, larger-scale sculpture is complemented by small-scale objects and functional and nonfunctional vessels in a variety of glassworking techniques, including blowing, casting, kiln forming, flameworking, laminating, stained glass, beading, and assemblage. The gallery features unique objects, rather than limited-edition or mass-produced products. All of the artists and designers represented in the gallery have advanced new glassmaking techniques, have developed new concepts for the material, or have somehow changed how we understand glass.

The shifting boundaries between contemporary craft, design, and art are reflected in the diverse works on display. While art and craft are rooted in the same source—the process of making—there are key differences. In the most general sense, craft emphasizes exemplary technique, function, and the individuality of the object, while design focuses on function, form, and reproducibility. Art is traditionally nonfunctional and expresses content or commentary that is meant to stimulate thought, present ideas, evoke memories, or inspire emotion.

Artists and Designers

New on view in the Heineman Gallery

35 Centuries of Glass
35 Centuries of Glass Galleries
Contemporary Glass Galleries
Contemporary Art + Design Galleries
Innovation Galleries
Innovation Center