The Amazing Glass Case: The Toledo Museum of Arts new pavilion

The museum’s new Glass Pavilion is unique and charming. Just a year old, it houses one of the best glass art collections in existence—an appropriate salute to my hometown, which is nicknamed the glass capital of the world.

Long a bastion of industrial glass production in America, Toledo is the original home of Libbey-Owens-Ford, Owens-Illinois and Owens Corning, which churned out light bulbs, automotive glass and tableware.

The creator and inspiration behind these companies was Edward Drummond Libbey, an early Toledo tycoon who founded the Toledo Museum of Art, contributed many fine art pieces to its collection and left a substantial endowment that still helps fund this private, non-profit institution considered one of the top 15 art museums in the country.

He also left a sizable glass art collection—a number of pieces crafted by Libbey-Owens-Ford artisans—which was housed until 2003 in the main museum building, a handsome classic Greek white marble structure dramatized by 16 Ionic columns that parade across its front. This popular exhibit was mothballed until August 2006, when the freestanding Glass Pavilion opened its doors and an eager public poured in.

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600450 The Amazing Glass Case: The Toledo Museum of Arts new pavilion

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