INSPIRATION: Dale Chihuly, James Mongrain and Vintage Venetian Glass From The George R. Stroemple Collection

Date(s) - Wednesday, November 4, 2020
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
07/01/20 - 05/08/21
Add to your calendar: iCal

Sangre de Cristo Arts Center


The George R. Stroemple Collection is internationally recognized as one of the most significant collections of artwork documenting the studio glass movement in the Pacific Northwest. With holdings by such luminaries as Dale Chihuly, Lino Tagliapietra and Flora Mace, The Stroemple Collection illustrates both the early nascence and mature culmination of contemporary glass art making.

“Like their art deco prototypes, a sense of function endures in Chihuly’s Venetians. The core forms—cones, cylinders, amphorae, bowls, ginger jars—suggest familiar vessels. Yet if vessels imply reason, Chihuly’s applied ornamentation overwhelms in an organic flourish. The symmetrical core becomes a stoic base from which feathers, leaves, and ribbons burst forth. Handles spiral into disorder; lilies entwine exterior surfaces; glass prunts transform into scalloped flames. Iridescent, foiled, layered, and mottled, both the vessel and the ornament boast active ‘Chihuly’ surfaces.”

JAMES MONGRAIN Reinterpreting Venetian Tradition
This collection grew out of the collaboration of collector George Stroemple and artist James Mongrain, a self-proclaimed beneficiary of the Italian masters of glass blowing. Mongrain’s Reinterpreting Venetian Tradition pulls on the renowned Venetian glass heritage to encapsulate the style and skill of these time-withstanding methods. For the past 12 years, Mongrain has duly served as Pacific Northwest artist Dale Chihuly’’s head gaffer; this connection between the two glass-blowers was one of the reasons for Stroemple’s eager commission of Mongrain. With this collection, the artist reinterprets the motifs so laboriously exacted decades prior in order to reproduce the same traditional forms, fantastical animals and elaborate designs, but in his own singular style.

This collection is home to a vast accumulation of Vintage Murano glassware, made on the Venetian island of Murano just 1.5 km from Venice and widely acclaimed for its specialization in fine glass art. Murano’s glassmakers revolutionized the techniques of glassblowing and led Europe for centuries in the intricate craft of these creations.

This collection boasts over 1,200 delicate works, by the artists Salviati, Artisti Barovier, and Fratelli Toso, to name a few many of which will be on display in this exhibition. Salviati himself is known for reviving this glass-blowing tradition in the mid-19th century as it nearly fell into extinction. The breadth of form and technical bravura of these Italian relics is vast: Stroemple’s collection ranges large and wide, from flowers and goblets, to decanters and vases, candlesticks and perfume bottles, and much more. These vintage treasures are a cavalcade of dolphins, dragons, and swans, adorned on rims, handles, bases and the like and embellished to perfection with filigree and aventurine. The works in the Stroemple Collection remain as reminders to the fantasy and talent of Old Murano.

Open Wed-Sat 10am-12pm & 1pm-3pm. $10 / $8 child & seniors 65+. Military free through Labor Day. Members free. Must wear a face mask.

All works are from The George R. Stroemple Collection.
S&S Collaboration

Sponsors: Robert H. Rawlings Foundation & Ryals Family Foundation.

More Art:
Date/Time Event
1 2 3 4 5 6


* indicates required

Nerdvana Media will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.