Blenko glass exhibit features all sizes

WESTON, W.Va. – Form, light and color will rock the gallery at the Museum of American Glass in Weston, W. Va., with one of the largest exhibitions of 101 pieces of Blenko glass. This show, which continues until May 31, 2010, features objects well over three feet tall to some a mere 3 inches tall.

The display of Blenko glass, made in Milton, W.Va., will feature a wide variety of tableware, experimental prototypes and wildly unexpected face vases. The objects were made from 1930 to 2000 and all are labeled, with about half including the name of a world acclaimed designer.

This family-owned company was founded by English-born William J. Blenko, who made three failed attempts at glassmaking in this country before locating in 1921 to manufacture sheet glass for stained glass windows. When the Depression decimated this market, the company hired two expert glassblowers and began making tableware in 1930.

The products were primarily functional until 1947, when the company hired a full-time designer to distinguish the Blenko look. The resulting products were so successful the company continued to hire designers until 1974. During this time, Blenko became the leader in modern American glass and even received a Good Designer Award from the Museum of Modern Art in 1950.

The exhibition is curated by Dean Six, museum executive director, with loans from Dumpster Divers Antiques of Pennsboro, W.Va., and from the private collections of Rock S. Wilson and Six’s own collection. For more information, contact Six at 304-269-5006 or or

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