The Washington State History Museum
1911 Pacific Avenue, New Tacoma, Tacoma

  • Glass Array 3

Washington is recognized around the world for its colorful art glass. Tens of thousands of people visit our state every year to see the work of artists such as Dale Chihuly, Sonja Blomdahl, William Morris, Ginny Ruffner, Preston Singletary and many others featured in galleries, museums and public spaces across the state.
But what about the beauty of the glass that we use every day? Can you imagine your life without this versatile material? How has glass been used in industry and exploration, in our homes, in our clothing and our daily tasks during the past two centuries? Washington State History Museum celebrates the many uses of glass in this exhibition.

Everyday Glass from the 1800s through Today

Nearly 400 glittering objects create a sparkling exhibition drawn from the Historical Society's collections. View anew diverse artifacts and learn about how these products have been used for work, play, and adornment. Two Centuries of Glass asks visitors to consider their beauty as well as their function. The art glass on view will inspire your creative spirit, too.

Exhibit Spotlight: Depression Glass and Elegant Glass

Do you or a family member collect Depression glass? During the 1930s, getting your dishes from gas stations, movie theaters and cereal boxes was an everyday occurrence. Sometimes these pieces were sold by themselves for a nickel (the same price then as a loaf of bread). Other times, shoppers would receive glass free through special promotions. These glass objects were produced in many bright colors so that shoppers would purchase them to brighten up their everyday lives. Depression glass was mass-produced and of relatively low quality. Bubbles, mold marks and other flaws are often seen in this kind of glassware. A higher quality glass, Elegant glass was produced as an alternative to fine china and sold through jewelry and department stores.


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