Most people don’t think about American history when they think about glass. But the featured speaker at Houston Museum’s 2017 Antiques Show & Sale says glass production made Pittsburgh the national center of the glass industry.
“At one time, Pennsylvania produced more than 40 percent of the nation’s glass supply, with the first two factories opening in 1797,” says Anne Madarasz, director of the curatorial division and chief historian and director of the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. “With more than 200 years of production in the region, it’s easy to see the interplay between the glass objects and the larger context of history.”
Visitors will have an opportunity to meet Madarasz at the Houston Museum’s show and sale, which is scheduled to take place Feb. 24-26 at Stratton Hall (3146 Broad St.). Both professional and novice antiques collectors from across the region gather each February in Chattanooga to shop and hear from glass experts.
For lecture times, visit www.thehoustonmuseum.org.
Madarasz also will conduct limited periods of glass identification for attendees who bring pieces with them. (This does not include valuation of items. Attendees must purchase a ticket to enter.)
Unlike pottery and silver, glass is a challenge to identify because it’s rarely marked, Madarasz says.
“Learning about glass is like learning a new language; it takes hard work,” she adds. “I look for clues into how each piece is made. Its color and design help me find out who made it and when.”
Attendees to the show and sale will find pottery, furniture, books, maps, china, silver, linens, blown glass and other artistic creations from top dealers and specialists.
Tindell’s Restoration also will be on hand. The Nashville-area team will perform repairs to glass and ceramics onsite and take items back to their offices to work on. Glass and ceramics are only a portion of what they repair; they also repair metal, sculptures and paintings.
Madarasz, director of the curatorial division and chief historian since 1992, is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. She completed the coursework for her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania.
Awarded a Richards Fellowship for research from the Corning Museum of Glass, she lectures and writes on the subject of Pittsburgh glass, regional industry and the history of Pittsburgh sports.
Madarasz has served as the project director and curator for five exhibitions that have received the national Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History.
About Houston Museum
Located in Chattanooga’s Bluff View Arts District, The Houston Museum features the collection of Anna Houston, who during her lifetime amassed more than 15,000 antique pitchers and thousands of other glassware pieces and antiques.
The Victorian house on High Street housing the museum has become a national mecca for antique lovers and glass collectors.
Visitors take a docent-led tour through the museum to view amberina, overlay, cameo, Burmese, Satinglass and cranberry glass collected by “Antique Annie.”
“Some of the extraordinary blown and cut art pieces in the Houston’s collection have inspired pattern glass for a mass market,” Madarasz says. “The collection is impressive. I’m looking forward to seeing it in person and learning from it.”
Source: The Houston Museum