Friday, December 28, 2007

Czech Art Glass

The Palm Springs Art Museum has a new director and a few newly spruced up galleries, including a small alcove devoted to "art glass."

The revelation in the group were a trio of pieces by the Czech husband-and-wife team of Jaroslava Brychtova and Stanislav Libensky, who just died in 2002.

Click here for a nice essay about Libensky and Brychtova (above) and and their professor in the 1940s and 1950s at the Prague Academy, Josef Kaplický.

Their modernist glass sculptures seemed to glow from the inside in the oddest ways imaginable...

...and made a lot of the other work look rather dull.

Also showing at the Palm Spring Arts Museum is a 34-piece exhibition, "Picasso to Moore: Modern Sculpture from the Weiner Collection" (click here for an interesting "Palm Springs Life" story about the exhibit and the Weiner family). The patriarch, Ted Weiner, was originally from Oakland who became a wildcatter in Texas and who grew into an extremely rich and powerful oilman (that's Ted below, fourth from the left, posing at the first Jewish country club in Fort Worth, flanked by Ben Hogan, Jack Benny, club pro Dick Metz, and producer Hal Wallis).

He started buying mostly modernist sculptures in the 1940s, and had promised his collection to Texas cultural institutions, but brought most of his art with him when he moved with his family to Palm Springs in the early 1960s, where he became one of the first trustees of the Palm Springs Art Museum. In any case, Ted's no longer around but his daughter Gwendolyn gives a major sculpture to the museum every year, which is nice since the collection is amazing, without a bad piece in the bunch. (The photo above, by the way, is from a recently published book from the Brandeis University Press entitled "Lone Stars of David: The Jews of Texas.")


Matthew Hubbard said...

Thanks for sending this, mike. I wish I lived close enough to see this stuff in person.

Anonymous said...

Nice blog. The Art Glass works are awesome. Yes it would be a great experience to see them for real. I hope to visit the museum soon.