Thursday, Jan. 12.
The West Virginia State Museum Chief Curator James R. Mitchel will discuss West Virginia's rich history of glass production from the antebellum days of western Virginia through the present in the Archives and History Library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex, in Charleston. The program is free and open to the public.
Since 1815, about 450 glass factories, including Blenko, Fenton and Pilgrim Glass, have operated in western Virginia and West Virginia. Blenko Glass still operates in Milton, W.Va., while Pilgrim Glass was located in Kenova. Another 50 craftsmen who made glass in larger companies and marked their wares with their names or initials have been identified. Glass producers were first attracted to West Virginia because of its abundant supply of silica, limestone and natural gas.
The State Museum houses a multitude of glass pieces with the work of more than 175 glass companies and craftsmen. Mitchell will provide a video tour of the collection.
Mitchell has been a professional decorative arts and technological history curator for 50 years. He has worked for state museums in Wisconsin, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as The Bennington (Vt.) Museum and the former Carborundum Museum of Ceramics in Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Advance registration for the workshop is not required, but is encouraged. To register, contact Robert Taylor, archives library manager, at 304-558-0230, Ext. 163, or by email at Bobby.L.Taylor@wv.gov. Participants interested in registering by e-mail should send their name, telephone number and the name and date of the session. For additional information about the workshop, contact the Archives and History Library at 304-558-0230.
The Archives and History Library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday. The library is closed on Sunday.