Museum of American Glass meets fund goal, plans mortgage burning


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Artifacts of the American Flint Glass Workers Union now displayed for visitors in the public area on the first floor of the museum. Photo courtesy the Museum of American Glass

WESTON W.V. – “Match the Money—and the Museum Is Ours!” was the rallying cry that launched an ambitious fund drive for the Museum of American Glass in West Virginia at the 19th annual Glass Gathering held at the museum in Weston, West Virginia Oct. 23, 2009.

Just six months later the results from the campaign are in: Campaign co-chairs, Jeff Evans of Jeffrey S. Evans Auctions and Dean Six, executive director of the museum, announced it has met and exceeded the campaign drive’s goal.

In October 2009, an anonymous donor offered to match, dollar for dollar, donations up to $45,000. The $90,000 amount would allow the museum’s current mortgage to be retired and the not-for-profit museum would own its home free and clear of any debt.

Success seemed apparent from the outset as individual donors, community organizations and numerous glass collecting clubs stepped forward to donate. The museum holds an impressive array of American-made glass, the collection of objects from the National Marble Museum, glass making tools, an extensive library of glass industry information and the American Flint Glass Workers Union archives.

As of April 25, 2010, six months after the campaign began; the total raised by the campaign is $105,803. A public mortgage note burning ceremony is planned.

The money raised over and above that needed to pay the $90,000 mortgage will be used to earn yet another dollar for dollar match. The Museum is submitting a proposal to the State of West Virginia for funds to renovate and make climate controlled the 2nd floor archival storage area. The archives include, among thousands of other items, the nationally significant collection from the American Flint Glass Workers Union.

In 2009, the Museum of American Glass in West Virginia became the residence for the artifacts of the American Flint Glass Workers Union now displayed in the public area on the first floor. The second floors houses over 100 years of archives and research materials of the AFGWU, glass catalogs and other valuable industry research documents in the archives storage area. The second floor area will benefit from the second matching funds being sought to provide much needed air conditioning and heating to preserve these and other valuable American glass history documents.

Begun in 1992, the museum moved in 2007 and occupies 12,000 square feet with over 7,000 pieces of glass on display. The museum is home to the National Marble Museum and The American Flint Glass Workers Union Archives. The museum holds an annual marble festival and numerous special exhibits throughout the year.

More information can be found at wvmag.bglances.com or by calling 304-269-5006. ?

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