NDGA National Glass Museum
117 S. Washington Street
Hours: Thu-Sat 11am-4pm
or by Chance
During the last week of November, the museum underwent a face lift in the front of the building and a small change in the back along the south wall. We would like to thank the following individuals for working last week; Lisa Allton, Janis McDonald, Carol McEwen, Linda Bredengerd, Crockett & Cathie Richardson, Fred & Pam Meyer, Don Jones and Danny Cornelius. Please give Crockett & Cathie a large Thank You when you see them for transporting the cases to Wellington.
The new glass cases were placed across the front of the building allowing us to secure glass displays for the future. Three of the new cases were placed on the south wall next to the existing cases and one case was placed on the north wall at the front. We also placed another cases back by the furnace by turning two cases back to back after you go past the furnace.
We also took three cases that were just purchased and split them in half and placed them back to back to enlarge the gift shop. The expanded gift shop was the finishing touch to enhance the front of the museum.
The picture on the top left shows the official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. The one on the lower right shows glassware that was presented to officials from the City of Wellington.
Donations for the build-out and maintenance of the museum will be greatly appreciated. The NDGA is a 501(c)(3) organization and gifts to support the Museum are generally allowed as a tax deduction under Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. Contact your tax advisor for your individual situation.
Here's the form for you to use to send in a cash donation for the Museum Support Fund. The form allows you to supply a dedication and determine how your money will be used. Print out the form, fill it out, send it in with your check, and a copy will be acknowledged by an NDGA representative and sent back to you.
The NDGA as an organization has been around for a long time. It was founded in 1974, and an annual Convention and Sale has been held every year since 1975. All along, one of the goals of the organization was to open a museum to showcase American-made glassware from the years of the "Great Depression."
Over the years, members pressed for a museum, but for many years, virtually nothing was done in the way of realizing that objective. Finally, at the 1999 Convention in Little Rock, Arkansas, Mr. Kent Washburn, the newly elected President of the NDGA, proposed a National Glass Collection, and offered the first piece of glass that he ever purchased as the initial donation. By the time the Board of Directors met on Sunday, the idea had not only gained widespread acceptance, but the Board was prepared to unanimously approve the proposal. By the end of the Show on Sunday afternoon, twenty-five pieces of glass had been donated towards the start of the National Glass Collection.
Some members have wondered why we are accumulating a glass collection when we have no place to display it? What is the purpose of adding to the collection? The answer is that the ultimate objective of the NDGA is to establish a permanent musuem for the preservation of American-made glass, and to educate the public about this very important industry which once flourished in this country. Mr. Washburn understood that Fund-raising programs and Grants are available for museums, but not for empty buildings. You must first have something to put in the building, thus the need for and the continuing growth of the National Glass Collection.
In recent years, the National Glass Collection has grown significantly. This in turn has resulted in significant costs to provide secure storage for the collection. Small parts of the collection have been on display at glass shows around the country, and now and then in a cooperating museum, but the time has come to put the collection in a museum for the public to enjoy.
Our Board of Directors has been scouring the country to find a suitable place to open a museum. Originally, we considered purchasing a building, but realized that to do so would require significantly more money than we have, and the risks of committing the organization to raise the necessary funds caused us to modify our approach.
Thanks to the work of Board Member Fred Meyer and his wife, Pam, the Board was made aware of a suitable building for rent that was available and affordable. It is located in Wellington, Kansas. The town of Wellington is the county seat of Sumner County, KS. It is 30 minutes south of Wichita, 1½ hours north of Oklahoma City and 2 hours from Tulsa. I-35 is three miles east of town. Wellington is a town of approximately 8,000. The picture shown to the right is from a meeting between Tom McAlister, McAlister Group LLC and NDGA President Danny Cornelius, where a contract was signed.
The Board of Directors, during its October 2011 conference call, unanimously approved a motion authorizing President Danny Cornelius to negotiate, on behalf of the NDGA, a lease for the building located on the main street of Wellington for the museum. The resulting lease is for a period of three years with the option to renew for additional years. For the entire lease period, the rent is fixed and cannot be raised.
The building itself is about 24 ft wide and approximately 130 ft long (roughly 2900 sq ft). It has glass windows on the front, facing the main street. There's plenty of space in the window area to house a seasonal display (Hoosier Cabinet, Dining table, Bedroom suite) which can be changed out periodically to highlight different parts of the National Collection. A section of the building in the rear will be partitioned off and used to store the portion of the Collection that is not currently on display. By utilizing the building for storage, we save the (current) expense of renting a storage facility, and the committee that administers the collection can work in an air-conditioned/heated environment (the storage facility was not so equipped).
The City of Wellington has already provided us with plenty of support, including reduced Utility rates for the museum. There are two other museums in town, and we anticipate working with them in the area of advertising and cross-promotion. We are looking into a billboard along I-35 advertising the three museums. Rest assured, we are wanted by this community and that's important considering the somewhat out-of-the-way location.