The Museum of Glass was recently gifted over 400 pieces from the private collection of Robert M. Minkoff — a set that chronicles the evolution of the glass art movement.
An engineer by trade, the late Minkoff was an avid collector and patron of the glass arts. His support and philanthropy made an important and lasting impact within the glass arts community.
The gift was bestowed by The Robert M. Minkoff Foundation just before his passing earlier this fall. His collection not only illustrates a variety of techniques but also represents a timeline of glassmaking trends via designs from an international assortment of artists.
As a Museum of Glass Trustee for over 10 years, Minkoff invested ample time into board committees. He took a particular interest in the museum building, and appreciated such Arthur Erickson design aspects as the distinctive iconic cone structure.
“It was important to our father that his collection resides at a museum where he invested so much of himself and one located in the Pacific Northwest, at the heart of the Studio Glass movement in the United States,” Minkoff’s daughter and Robert M. Minkoff Foundation trustee Rachel Loving said earlier this month. “We are confident the Museum of Glass will carry our father’s legacy forward through thoughtful and scholarly use of his art.”
Some of the collection pieces include those from major Studio Glass artists like Jaroslava Brychtová, Stanislav Libenský, Klaus Moje, Debora Moore, William Morris, Paul Stankard, Therman Statom, and Lino Tagliapietra. It also showcases the works of innovators like Steffan Dam, Luke Jerram, Silvia Levenson, Beth Lipman, and Karen LaMonte.
“The gift we’ve received from the Minkoff Foundation is transformational for the museum,” said Debbie Lenk, executive director of the Museum of Glass. “Having a collection with so much breadth and depth really allows us to display the diversity of influences and styles of the glass movement. We can home in on various parts of the story by utilizing the pieces in his collection.”
A major exhibition of the collection, and recognition of Robert M. Minkoff, is slated at the museum for the spring of 2022. This coincides with the Seattle-based Glass Arts Society‘s yearly conference, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2022. This will be the first time the conference will be held in Tacoma.
Several pieces from the collection (dubbed A Glimpse at the Robert M. Minkoff Foundation Collection) are on display now in the Museum’s Grand Hall. The Museum of Glass is currently open Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.