exhibit explores 60 years of Wisconsin glass for MOWA’s 60th anniversary | By Jennifer Turner

West Bend, WI – The Wisconsin Art Museum (MOWA) announces the opening of its new exhibition The Studio Glass Movement: The Hyde Collection.

The exhibition is visible from Saturday 23 October 2021 to Sunday 23 January 2022.

Coinciding with the International Year of Glass (2022) and the 60th anniversary of MOWAe anniversary (2021), this exhibition features 39 Wisconsin glass artists and more than 100 pieces, including landmark works by early innovators and ambitious installations by contemporary artists.

Wisconsin was at the forefront when the Studio Glass movement was created. Considered the founding father of the movement, Harvey K. Littleton built the first glass program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1962.

Its first students became apostles, spreading the glass gospel as they founded programs across the United States, including Doug Johnson who then founded the Glass Program at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 1967.

James Engebretson and Eóin Breadon followed Johnson, contributing to two more generations of glass artists in the UW-River Falls program. Over the past several decades, Door County’s thriving art scene has attracted a community of glass artists who have created another node of influence in the state’s rich history, including husband and wife duo Jeremy Popelka and Stephanie. Trenchard.

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“On the occasion of this exhibition, MOWA is delighted to announce that over 100 works of glass by James and Karen Hyde have now officially joined the museum’s glass collection,” said Laurie Winters, Director general | CEO.

“The Hyde Collection tells the story of Wisconsin’s role in the development of the Studio Glass movement from its inception in Madison in the early 1960s to the subsequent development of major glass centers in UW-River Falls and County of. Door. We are delighted to make this collection accessible to the general public on the occasion of MOWA’s anniversary and the International Year of Glass 2022. ”


James and Karen Hyde started buying glass in 2009, intending to create a collection for MOWA. James Hyde, a renowned biophysicist with over thirty patents relating to MRI technology, was deeply drawn to the science behind the art of glass and the spirit of experimentation that characterizes its practitioners.

A 160-page color catalog accompanies the exhibition and presents the central role of the state in the Studio Glass movement over the past sixty years. The catalog features essays by Jan Mirenda Smith (former executive director of the Bergstrom-Mahler Glass Museum), Davira Taragin (consulting curator of glass) and Dr James Hyde. The exhibition catalog will be available for purchase at the MOWA store.

MOWA in West Bend, Wisconsin is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. Admission as low as $ 15 offers unlimited visits for a full year.

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Christopher R. Belleau (UW – Madison)

Eóin Breadon (UW – River Falls)

Patrick Casanova (UW – River Falls)

Jon F. Clark (UW – River Falls)

Deanna clayton

Brent Cox (UW – Madison)

Stephan Cox (UW – River Falls)

Fritz Dreisbach (UW – Madison)

Boris Dudchenko

James E. and Renée Nielsen Engebretson (UW – River Falls)

Angelo Fico

Sharon fujimoto

Audrey Handler (UW – Madison)

David Huchthausen (UW – Madison)

Wes S. Hunt

Wes J. Hunt

Kent Ipsen (UW – Madison)

Beth lipman

Harvey K. Littleton (1922-2013) (UW-Madison)

Thomas maras

Tom McGlauchlin (1943-2011) (UW-Madison)

Michael Meilahn (UW – River Falls)

Karen Eyara Naylor (UW – Madison)

Colleen Ott (UW – River Falls)

Jeremy Popelka (UW – Madison)

Nolan Prohaska

Jackson Schwartz (UW – River Falls)

Douglas and Renée Sigwarth (UW – River Falls)

Scott Simmons (UW – Madison)

Jeffrey Stenbom (UW – River Falls)

Stephanie Trenchard

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The exhibition invites viewers to deepen their engagement with the works and themes through a range of on-site and virtual programs.

Opening night

Saturday 23 October | 2: 00-4: 00

Celebrate the opening and meet the exhibiting artists of The Studio Glass Movement: The Hyde Collection. Enjoy live music and a cash bar.

Artist conference | Jeffrey Stenbom

Saturday 13 November | 2:00

Glass artist Jeffrey Stenbom discusses his deployment to Iraq with the United States Army and how those experiences as a soldier influenced and inspired his creative work in glass.

Artist conference | Jeremy Popelka and Stéphanie Trenchard

Saturday November 27 | 2:00

Glass artists Jeremy Popelka and Stephanie Trenchard discuss their work and the glass community of Door County, WI.

Virtual Artist Conference | Beth Lipman and Jon Clark

Wednesday December 1 | 7h00

Exhibiting glass artists Beth Lipman and Jon Clark share stories of their interwoven experiences as a student and teacher and the importance of mentoring in the glass community. Streamed live on Facebook and YouTube.

Artist conference | Eóin Breadon

Saturday 4 December | 2:00

Exhibiting artist Eóin Breadon discusses Celtic influences in his work; his current position at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls as chair of the art department; and its efforts to rethink a student training that combines commercial and artistic practices.

Studio Class | Recycle glass into art

Saturday December 11 | 10:00 a.m.

Taylor Moeller-Roy of the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass (Neenah, Wisconsin) teaches how to turn leftover glass bottles into beautiful, functional household objects using a special scoring tool and heat shock. All supplies included. Register at wisconsinart.org/mowamasters

Expert conference | Wisconsin and Sixty Years of Studio Glass with Jan Mirenda Smith

Saturday January 15, 2022 | 2:00

Jan Mirenda Smith, Board Member of the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass and Co-Chair of the International Year of Glass in the United States, kicks off the International Year of Glass 2022 with a lecture on the history of glass in Wisconsin and its unique involvement in forging that path.


Image 1: Douglas and Renée Sigwarth, Untitled vessel, from the Serie Watercolors, 2008. Blown glass. Purchased 2012, James and Karen Hyde Foundation

Image 2: Jeremy Popelka, Serac, 2015. Sand-poured glass. Gifted 2018, James and Karen Hyde

Image 3: Stephanie Trenchard, Woman in a hat, 2021. Glass blown and assembled with enamel paint. Gifted 2021, James and Karen Hyde


A vital cultural center, educational institution and expanding network of ideas, the Museum of Wisconsin Art collects and interprets American art through the lens of one state. Informed by dynamic initiatives and collaborations, MOWA is an innovative forum for contemporary artists, socially relevant exhibitions, talks by artists and industry experts, and engaging classes and activities for all ages. The museum’s main location, the Modernist “mothership,” sits along the Milwaukee River in downtown West Bend, drawing visitors and tourists from across the state. MOWA welcomes 200,000 visitors each year, making it a cultural destination for the art and artists of our time. Visit wisconsinart.org to learn more.


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