glass en masse

    The thing that consistently amazes me about ol’ Ohio is its holdings of impressive architecture. In cities that were solidly rust belt, new starchitecture is popping up with an intensity that surely rivals the likes of LA and NYC. Why? I have no idea, but who am I to question a good thing?!

My latest encounter with the greatest hits of Ohio’s architecture is in Toledo – dangerously close to the border of nothing-for-hundreds-of-miles-Indiana, but very much en route to Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Chicago, the latter of which was my final destination last weekend.


Veering off of I-90,  ten minutes later I was cruising down tree-lined, turn-of-the 20th-century mansion filled streets. I had heard from colleagues that the Toledo Museum of Art’s holdings are some of the finest – they don’t have twenty of Monet, but they have one, the one that counts. Unfortunately, I was pressed for time and barely squeezed in a thorough tour of the museum’s annex, let alone it’s primary stock. (Does anyone else experience the effects of time travel at light speed when in museums? Seriously, where is the time-continuum vacuum hidden in these places?)

Lucky for me, Toledo is just under 2 hours from Cleveland and with so much to see and do in the little city, there’s bound to be a return trip on the horizon.

What I did see: built in 2006 by 2010 Pritzer prize winning SANAA, the Glass Pavilion is a wonder to behold.

The pavilion is sized just right, with ample space for their Friday wine nights. The galleries revolve around a demonstration and workshop space where glass blowing occurs on-site daily. As a building, it’s certainly singular, but what makes the floor to ceiling glazing truly unique is the typology of the building. Typically, museum’s utilize very little natural light because of the sun’s damaging effects. However, in a museum of glass whose collection is strictly glass, the sun is rarely a problem. And when it is, they have curtains and the ability to rotate pieces.


A few months ago I wrote about a local artist and professor at the CIA, Brent Young {}. While I raved about his work on display at the Faculty show here in Cleveland, I couldn’t have known how sunlight elevates his delicate sculptures. Seen above with a few other of my favorite pieces in the museum, the shadows cast from the impossibly sinuous glass rods are an art form in of themselves.


If you go: Plan your visit around the 1pm glass demonstrations or the Friday wine nights! That’s my plan 🙂

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