UWRF glass artists included in museum exhibit

Posted December 16, 2021

The Museum of Wisconsin Art, located near West Bend, recently debuted a new exhibit showcasing studio glass, and many of the artists represented are River Falls locals.

“The Studio Glass Movement in Wisconsin: The Hyde Collection” examines the past and present of the studio glass movement and features more than 30 glass artists. According to wisconsinart.org, the majority of the featured artists originate from either the University of Wisconsin-Madison or River Falls.

One exhibiting artist is Eóin Breadon, the art department chair at UW-River Falls. Breadon recently visited the Museum of Wisconsin Art to hold an “Artist Talk,” where he discussed the Celtic influences on his work.

According to Breadon, UWRF’s early involvement in the studio glass movement plays a major factor in local artists’ prominence in the exhibit today.

“The biggest reason that we see such a large representation from River Falls and Madison is due to them being the second and first schools, respectively, to offer art degrees in glass,” said Breadon.

The studio glass movement gained popularity in the mid-20th century, with Harvey Littleton, often referred to as the “Father of Studio Glass,” leading the charge in Wisconsin. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Littleton served as chair of the art department from 1964-1967 and from 1969-1971.

“Madison and River Falls are important as the studio glass movement basically started there under the leadership of Harvey Littleton in the early ’60s,” says Graeme Reid, director of collections and exhibitions at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. “Today, Madison and UWRF are the two principal glass programs in the state and both can trace their origins back to Harvey.”

“The Studio Glass Movement in Wisconsin: The Hyde Collection” will remain on display until Jan. 23 in the Museum of Wisconsin Art, 205 Veterans Ave., West Bend. For more information, call (262) 334-9638 or visit wisconsinart.org.