Display at the Historical Glass Museum

by David Adams

Many NDGA members will recall the large display of stemware that was exhibited by Linda Adams and Helen Jones at the Convention in Wichita, Kansas, in July 2010. There were over 200 goblets (no duplicates) produced by over 25 different American glass companies. Each goblet was Linda Adams with display identified by manufacturer, pattern name and dates manufactured (if known). The display was one of the most popular at the Convention.

Helen Jones lives on the east coast and Linda lives out west, so the two halves of the display went in different directions after the Convention came to an end. Stems But the story didn't (and doesn't) end there.

In early February 2011, Linda took her part of the display to the Historical Glass Museum in Redlands, California. This is a small museum, situated in a 100 year old Victorian house in an older part of the city. It was originally established by one of the pioneers in depression glass collecting, Dixie Huckabee, who, for years, promoted a glass show in southern California.

The museum contains displays of American glass from early times, through the depression years and up to the present day, with some fine American-made contemporary art glass on display, along with beautiful cut glass items, some of which came from the estate of Liberace. There was a recent donation of a case full of "Mary Gregory" glass, collected over a period of well over 50 years. StemsOne case is full of nothing but automobile bud vases. There is a complete room dedicated to depression-era glass.

So Linda has loaned a good portion of her collection of single goblets, along with a sign that explains that it was part of a huge display at the National Depression Glass Association Convention in Wichita. The exhibit helps this small museum, and at the same time provides some publicity for the NDGA and its Conventions. Any publicity helps, as they say.

Linda had previously provided the museum with a smaller cross-section of her stem collection, and it proved to be one of the most popular displays at the museum. Every time we volunteered to remove the display, they asked if we could leave it "just a little bit longer." It actually remained there for nearly a year!

The purpose of this article is to encourage NDGA members to find a local library or museum that would be willing (or in most cases, thrilled) to accept a display of our beautiful American made glassware. It give you a sense of pride to show off your collection, it gives other visitors to the museum/library the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and learn about the glass that we all enjoy, and it helps promote the NDGA.