, traveling exhibitions coordinator for the Museum of Arts and Design
in New York, places Paul Stankard's glass paperweights in a custom made display as he
sets up the new exhibit at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum
, which opens Saturday.Corey Schjoth/Wausau Daily Herald
It's a craft that Stankard
practically reinvented, since glassworking techniques were a heavily guarded secret when Stankard
began his career, said Steve Mann
, traveling exhibitions coordinator from the Museum of Arts & Design
in New York City.
was in Wausau this week to install Stankard's exhibit. Mann
said that when Stankard
began rediscovering glass paperweights as an art form, lampwork artisans wouldn't reveal their secrets to him.
Through trial and error, Mann
taught himself the process.
recreated an art form that nobody would tell him," Mann
mastered it and surpassed history.And it wasn't long before he
was accepted as an artist."
The exhibit roughly follows Stankard's artistic growth, from his
early, traditionally shaped round paperweights through encasing his
art in plexiglass then in polished glass bricks.
making these orbs," Mann
said, pointing to a perfect glass sphere containing a botanical study."He
works with a lensmaker.This piece is actually encased in a cube, then he
put six lenses around it."Viewers should keep in mind that the lenses magnify the intricate art inside.
It's more than simply something pretty.Stankard's
art "speaks about the cycle of life," Mann
said the cases his
museum commissioned to hold Stankard's paperweights continue that natural theme."The measurements are based on the Golden Spiral," the natural mathematical sequence that helps snails built spiral shells, for example.
"The lines and dimensions in the cases aren't based on your normal 8-by-10 (prints) but might be three by nine," Mann
said."These are natural dimensions and that helps it feel right."
The cases are set up in such a way that visitors must move around to see all the pieces."People will walk around and discover things as they look closely," Mann